1. ITV Report

'We're just out there to enjoy it' - Bristol Rovers Women's FC look forward to their first football game

The 'Gas Girls' in training at their home ground, Lockleaze Sports Centre in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

There's been a dramatic growth in women's football, in part due to the success of the 2019 Women's World Cup this summer. Bristol Rovers, which hasn't been represented in the field since 2005, have decided to revive their women's team.

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Whatever happened to the 'Gas Girls'?

  • The ‘Gas Girls’ were initially formed in 1998, starting out in the South West League
  • In 2005, Bristol Rovers Women’s FC became known as Bristol Academy WFC under a new partnership agreement with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
  • In 2011 the club changed its name to Bristol Academy WFC
  • In 2015 it finally became Bristol City Women’s Football Club

Rovers made the announcement about the women's team in April and since then it's gone from strength to strength.

We are thrilled to announce the relaunch of the 'Gas Girls'. Over the last 18 months, our Women's and Girls football provision has grown enormously, culminating in a Wembley Stadium appearance for our EFL U13 Girls team from Mangotsfield School.

To support this growth and further encourage females to play football across Bristol, we have decided to reform Bristol Rovers Women, aka the Gas Girls. The team will initially be a competitive, participation based club open to all abilities rather than a focus on elite level football. We hope to give as many women and girls, regardless of background, the choice to represent Bristol Rovers.

– Adam Tutton, Bristol Rovers Community Trust CEO and Women's Chairman
The Gas Girls get a team briefing from manager, Nathan Hallett-Young. Credit: ITV West Country

Bristol Rovers Women’s FC have joined the Gloucestershire County Women’s League where the first team will play in Division 1 while the Development Team will start in Division 2. The under 18s team will compete in the Gloucestershire FA Under 18s League.

First Team Captain, Natalie Coles, says it's just a first step.

People are going to expect us to do well but I think we're just out there to enjoy it and just get going. This is the first step for Bristol Rovers definitely. We're here at the moment but I know that eventually we do want to be back up there competing at the highest possible level.

– Natalie Coles, Captain

The teams are based at the new £6 million Lockleaze Sport Centre and will play every Sunday from September 2019. Bristol Rovers Community Trust says supporters will be made very welcome.