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Oxtoby excited for new challenge

City Women Manager Tanya Oxtoby prepares to hand over the reins on a temporarily basis, as she gets set for motherhood.

Oxtoby now embarks on her maternity leave with her baby boy due in March, while former West Ham United, Liverpool and Chelsea manager Matt Beard takes over proceedings as Head Coach.

Bristol City Football Club wholeheartedly supports Oxtoby who has been planning for the transition in the last six months.

Oxtoby told Robins TV: “It’s exciting. It’s probably come a bit sooner than I’d have liked, nobody is ever ready to step away, but in the circumstances and with what’s going on in the world I think the Board felt it was the right time to make the move.

“A brand-new challenge awaits and it’s a scary one but very, very exciting at the same time, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“Given the circumstances and where we are with the pandemic, I think it makes sense for the transition to begin and I’m fully supportive. When this process started six months ago, at the forefront of what I was planning was for as seamless a transition as possible for the players and I’ll continue to do that from the comfort of my lounge, moving forward!”

Beard will now step in and oversee the second half of City’s 2020/21 campaign in both the Barclays FAWSL and Conti-Cup, of which the club are into the semi-finals after Tuesday’s night’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. That would prove to be Oxtoby’s final game in charge before her maternity began.

“We knew it would be the last game as a group and it was difficult circumstances with a few players missing on the morning of the game, but the performance was exceptional,” she said.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to walk away from that amazing group and leave them in a positive place with a semi-final spit and some confidence going into the league fixture on Sunday.”

And Oxtoby is excited to see Beard in the manager’s seat for the next chapter but stressed she will remain on hand for any help and support over the coming months.

She said: “I know Matt well. At the forefront of my mind when I knew this process was going to start was the playing group and making sure the transition was as seamless as possible. The Board have decided Matt is the right person to come in and I’ll support him 100% however he needs, the players as well because I want them to reach their potential. I want us to stay in the Barclays FAWSL and I’ll support, however I can, to make that happen.

“Having a relationship with Matt helps. Anything he needs he knows he can ask and I’m there to support that process wholeheartedly. I’m really looking forward to watching the group progress in the second half of the season.

“The two things I’ve harped on about are making sure we have some confidence and last night’s performance will certainly give them that. It’s about keeping everyone fit too and apart from the girls who are out after positive Covid-19 tests we are there or thereabouts. If Matt can keep those girls available and keep building on the confidence, then I have no doubt they will achieve their potential and reach their goals.”

City Women are back in Barclays FAWSL action this Sunday when they travel to take on Everton (January 17th, 1pm KO).


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