bristol academy womens football club crestChampions League football comes to the south west for the first time when Bristol Academy Womens Football Club kick off their European campaign against Russia's top women's side FC Energiya Voronezh (1930).

Thursday night's tie at Ashton Gate is another incredible chapter in the BAWFC success story.

It is less than 12 months since Bristol Academy were selected to become one of eight WFA Super League teams. Since then, the Filton College-based club has made it through to the women's FA Cup final against Arsenal, thereby qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

In their first season in the top flight of English women's football Bristol Academy finished fifth.

Five-times Russian Women's Premier League champions Energiya Voronezh qualified for the Champions League by finishing runners-up this season. In 2003/2004 they reached the Champions League quarter finals, losing both legs 2 – 1 to eventual winners Umea IK of Sweden.

BAWFC secretary Roger Brinsford said: “We are delighted that Bristol City FC has given BAWFC the opportunity to play at Ashton Gate in this prestigious fixture. It should give many of the followers of women’s football throughout the South West their first chance to see top-flight action right in the heart of Bristol.”

BAWFC hea coach Mark Sampson added: “Ever since we won the FA Women's Cup semi final we have been looking forward to the opportunity to compete on Europe’s greatest stage and now it is very close there is a real excitement and anticipation around the place for the game.

“We are ready to make sure we give it our very best shot to create another piece of history for our club.”

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