If you're from the South West and have experienced the ace atmosphere at Stoke Gifford, or have been to some FA WSL games this season, then you might have seen the Bristol girls in action...
If you haven't had the opportunity yet (or you witnessed their off-colour opener against Birmingham), you're missing out. This bunch of brave battlers have oodles of fitness and a never say die attitude. Who cares if you're sick of this terrible pun, because the Gas Girls really are going to be gunning for Arsenal on Saturday. As is tradition, we reckon you should know a little bit more about both cup final teams and the players you are watching and cheering. So, starting with the girls in blue, and with [a lot of] help from Jess Fishlock and able assistant Alex Culvin, we bring you the 'Getting to know Bristol Academy' Pen Pics...
Bristol Academy's Player Profiles
< < 1. Siobhan Chamberlain
- AKA Sio
Sio is our England International Goalkeeper and the rock upon which the rest of the team is built, with great hands and a massive kick. She is also our changing room DJ, however her musical taste does not go down well with everyone! We hope she makes the plane to Germany in the summer.
2. Alex Windell - AKA Wendy
Our young and promising right back - Wendy has come through the ranks and is a product of the Bristol Academy. A home-grown talent, which explains her comedy Bristolian Accent! 'Oooooooo Aaaarrrrr!!'
3. Corrine Yorston - AKA Cori/Casper
A versatile defender who always leads by example. The Skipper is in her second spell at the club, returning from Arsenal in the summer. Her pale complexion could be explained by her lack of knowledge about bronzing products.
4. Grace McCatty - AKA Catty
A tough tackling right-back who has seemingly been at the club forever. Catty is an England U’23 International who has already achieved a personal milestone this season, not by reaching the FA Cup Final but by improving her keepy-up record to 2!
5. 'Vinnie' Jones - AKA Emma
A Bristol Academy stalwart, Vinnie is our Welsh International centre-back who has been at the club for over 7 years. She has great composure and technical ability and always seems to have time on the ball. She is also the resident Delboy of the team providing a constant source of beauty products to the changing room - is she trying to tell us something??
6. Michelle Green - AKA Mush
Yet another Welsh International and long-term servant to Bristol Academy. Mush is our utility player, providing experience and quality wherever she plays. Generally quiet around camp but when she does pipe up she can often silence others with her sharp tongue! However, her bark is a lot worse than her bite.
7. Helen Bleazard - AKA Hels
Helz seems to run on Duracell batteries - she just never stops, giving fullbacks nightmares whether she’s playing down the left or right flank. Recently jumped on the Welsh bandwagon through her Nan’s Sister’s Brother’s Aunty. Taken a step up this year after moving from Yeovil and is more than proving she can cut it in the WSL.
8. Katie Daley - AKA Super Mum
Yet another member of the BAWFC’s Welsh Contingent, Katie is a quality player using her previous experience from the USA to help solidify the Vixen midfield. A mum to adorable Alfie and recently qualified teacher - a combination which also gives her the title of Chief Moaner in the dressing room!
9. Anne-Marie Heatherson - AKA - Annie
Our No 9 and a character to say the least! Always involved with changing room banter when she’s not in the canteen. Signed from Millwall and boasts a great career, Annie now works for the club and is very passionate about her job - boring anyone who will listen to her talking about it. Look out for her new Kermit the Frog footwear!
10. Jess Fishlock - AKA Fishy>>
Jess has recently returned from playing for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, where she picked up two league titles in two seasons. Vastly experienced for a 24 year old and likes to think she knows best when it comes to all things football. Lives by the motto of ‘Look Good, Feel Good’ despite looking like a silver troll, and often provides entertainment to the team through regular blonde/silver moments!
11. Loren Dykes - AKA Lozza
Lozza is the final piece in the Welsh puzzle at Bristol. A quiet player, refusing to speak to her teammates unless she’s faced with a serious emergency such as being locked in her room! A pacey winger with a great work-rate and delivery, she is very much looking forward to her first FA Cup Final!
12. Molly Clark - AKA Lady Sovereign / Pocahontas
Originating from Pompey, Lady Sov is a very technically gifted midfielder with a big future in the game. Is part of the famous House Crew at Bristol: the place with no furniture.
15. Lillie Billson - AKA Lillie B
Lillie B is our Ghetto Superstar. Signed from Arsenal in the summer, she has the biggest and fastest feet in the squad. Another young and talented player - this striker is looking to forward to the final almost as much as she’s looking forward to a bigger pair of shorts!!
16. Anouk Hoogendijk - AKA Noukie
Our chaotic Dutch International midfielder who has been a great addition to the squad, transferring from FC Utrecht where she captained the team for 5 years. Speaks better English than most of the team, which explains her role as Media Girl. Noukie brings vast experience and quality on the ball to the side. Typically Dutch!
17. Jasmine Matthews - AKA Jaz
Another product of our excellent youth setup and a midfielder with great ability and a cultured left foot. Jaz is another mute that we have in our team but as they say - it’s the quiet ones you have to look out for! The FA Cup Final day will be a great experience for her.
<< 18. Alex Culvin - AKA Al
Our scouser was the 3rd part of the triple transfer swoop from Holland where she was also playing for AZ Alkmaar. Playing in her 4th FA Cup Final, Al is a relative veteran within the squad. Known for her constant moaning at team-mates, staff and officials alike, she is a tough tackling, technical left back who during game time can be heard for miles around!
19. Jemma Rose - AKA Jem
Living in Plymouth, Miss Rose is the long-distance commuter of the team. Her dedication and commitment is unquestionable but the travelling must tire her out because when she gets to training she is too tired to speak! A strong centre-back, Jemma has represented England at youth level and is a great athlete with a big future in the game.
20. Jade Radburn - AKA Radders
Jade is a versatile central defender, originally from Leicester, who made her WSL debut against Everton this season. Radders has good technical ability and is a very brave player - she’ll put her head on anything. Unfortunately cup-tied for the final but she’ll be supporting from the sidelines and her time will come.
Manager - Mark Sampson - AKA Sammo / Gaffer
The Gaffer may not be as experienced as his counterparts in the WSL, but what he lacks in this department he more than makes up for with passion, confidence, belief and desire. Fancies himself as a bit of a player in training but sadly he just doesn’t make the cut, maybe due to the fact he has the world's skinniest legs! Mark has also taken advantage of the WSL publicity to secure himself a Top Man Cardigan sponsorship deal, go Mark!
Goalkeeper Coach - Steve Grinham - AKA Stevie
Stevie is Sio’s number one fan. Therefore Sio gets the best balls and the best equipment. Stevie is not only the goalkeep coach but also the media-man, kit-man and the admin-man. The list goes on. Stevie has great banter and will do anything for the players - he is great to have as a member of staff.
Assistant Manager - Dan Tanhai - AKA Danno
Dan is the loudest member of staff. He is also the biggest cheat and the worst footballer on the payroll! He does however have excellent football knowledge, brings good banter to the squad and is also the founder of the now famous hand-clap warm-up!
Utility Man - Mark Humphrey - AKA Humphreys
Mark is indispensable to Bristol Academy. From taping Anouk’s ankles to putting curtains up in the players’ houses, Mark is Mr Reliable and a great member of staff. He deserves a mention for having to stand next to Mark Sampson to ensure he speaks the Queen’s English.
Coach - Lee Rendall
Lee is another great person to have around camp. He has great passion and drive for Bristol Academy, and is always positive to the players even when perhaps sometimes we don’t deserve it! Also manages our U’10s who are an excellent young team in our Academy.
Strength and Conditioning Coach - Shannon Jewell - AKA Double-Denim
Shannon is our strength and conditioning coach who has great knowledge in her field and is always available for advice. She has also emerged as an unlikely fashion ‘Icon’, pulling off the double-denim look. Shannon has great banter and needs it with the abuse she receives! We are currently trying to prevent Shannon forming an academy weight lifting team.
Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?