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‘Great to be back on the grass’ – Oxtoby

Bristol City Women’s manager Tanya Oxtoby was full of praise for her players and staff as preparations for the Robins’ 2020/2021 campaign get underway.

City Women returned to training for the first time since the termination of the 2019/2020 Barclays FA Women’s Super League and Oxtoby was pleased with how the squad had coped during lockdown. 

“It’s great to be back out on the grass, it’s been a long, long wait,” said Oxtoby.

“Obviously it looks a little bit different but everyone’s really happy to be back and they’ve been really good for the first full week in. 

“They’ve come back in really good shape, if I’m honest probably better than I thought they would have, given the time off. 

“It’s different, it’s smaller groups and we’re having to really think outside the box with the way we do things, but it’s been a challenge and like I said the girls have been fantastic.

“They’re really happy to be back and their attitude has been superb.”

Summer signing Aimee Palmer in action at training.

The Robins retained their position in the league last season and will once again compete in the Barclays FAWSL, and Oxtoby is looking forward to the new season with her team and a couple of new faces. 

“It was always the aim to make sure we survived, and we had a really tough run last year so moving forward, we’ve done really positive recruitment over the summer period and we knew the areas we really needed to strengthen in, and we’ve done that.

“I think the characters we’ve recruited as well as the football ability will really suit what we’re trying to do.”

Loren Dykes has transitioned into the coaching staff at City Women.

Oxtoby spoke of how impressed she was by City Women legend Loren Dykes’ transition from player to assistant coach in her first few training sessions.

“I think I’ve said numerous times that we always wanted Loren [Dykes] to transition across to the coaching staff, she’s been a legend at this club and it’s very, very rare that you find someone that has football knowledge in the women’s game who also has the communication skills and the coaching ability that Loren’s got, so we’re really excited that we're able to bring her across.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’m really pleased she’s joined the coaching staff, she’s going to add so much to the group both on and off the pitch, so I’m really pleased for her.

I think she looks a little bit different in the non-playing colours, so we will see how she goes!”

Written by Lewis Barton.


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