Bristol City Women manager, Tanya Oxtoby, has thanked Vixens fans for their “unconditional support”.
The Australian-born coach and her team have had a tough Barclays FA Women’s Super League season this year, and currently sit in tenth place out of 12 teams in the top division – which is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an open letter to fans, Oxtoby said that she hoped that everyone connected with the club was “safe during such an uncertain time for everyone in the country”.
“Whether we are fans, players or staff of Bristol City Women, football is at the heart of everything we do, we are all passionate about the club, it’s part of our everyday lives, and we all miss it dearly.
“I have learnt over the last couple of years that whilst football is the game we all love and adore, there is always more to life than our wonderful game.”
The 37-year-old played for Perth Glory and Doncaster Rovers Belles 14, before moving into management at Nottingham Forest, joining City from Birmingham City in 2018.
“Like all clubs at present, the staff here at Bristol City Women are working hard everyday to ensure that the players have personalised at home training programs, opposition tactical analysis tasks and strength and conditioning work, in the hope that when we return to training as a group they are all in the best possible position to hit the ground running,” Oxtoby wrote.
“It’s been difficult trying to get the balance right, as this is obviously a stressful time for everyone, and our players are no different, and there is certainly no handbook to help guide us through a situation like this.
“Our staff and players have been nothing but professional in their attitude and approach to the situation we find ourselves in, and have done the club proud.”
Oxtoby added: “Lastly to our fans, this seems like a really apt time to thank you for all your unconditional support so far this season. With the weeks rolling into each other whilst we were playing, our focus as a group has been solely on making sure we are as prepared as we can be to reach to this fantastic club you love in the top flight of women’s football.
“With that in mind, we often don’t get a chance to thank you as often as we would like for travelling up and down the country, bring your positivity and belief in us as a group, even when our situation is far from ideal. Your support is priceless, and for that we sincerely thank you all.
“Look after each other in this difficult time, it’s important we make sure we are all in a good mental space, and please continue to follow the government guidelines to stay at home! We all look forward to seeing you all as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
Main photo: JMP