Birmingham: The Blues look to new signings to avoid another relegation fight – WSL Preview

Louise Quinn Birmingham City

The Women’s Super League will return to action this weekend as Manchester United and Reading get the 2021/22 season underway on Friday.

Newest additions Leicester City will join the top flight action as the 12 teams challenge for glory, qualification and survival. One team who will be hoping to avoid relegation once again is Birmingham City.

GiveMeSport Women runs through everything you need to know about Birmingham, including the club background, star players, fan opinion and our predicted final position come May.

Birmingham’s background

As one of the founding members of the Women’s Super League, Birmingham City are viewed as one of ‘the originals’.

The West Midlands club is where iconic players such as Karen Carney and Eniola Aluko first emerged onto the football scene.

Birmingham’s best season was in 2012, a year after the competition was created. The Blues came runners up in both the WSL and the League Cup, as well as winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

Karen Carney

Now, Birmingham is managed by former Borussia Dortmund and Aberdeen player Scott Booth. The Blues play their home games at St. Andrew’s – the same stadium as the men’s team.

How did last season go for Birmingham?

Last season was a tough one for the Blues – they were locked in a relegation battle for the most part of the campaign, but managed to stay afloat by taking points from West Ham, Bristol City and Aston Villa, who were also fighting for their survival.

At the end of the season, manager Carla Ward left the club along with a number of senior players, including star striker Claudia Walker.

Who are Birmingham’s standout players?

Aside from some of the new exciting signings the Blues have made, one player to look out for this season is Christie Murray.

The Scotland international has experience on the domestic and international stage and is known for her pinpoint accurate set-pieces.

Christie Murray and Ruby Mace

Who have Birmingham signed this summer?

Although they’ve lost a number of important players this summer, Birmingham have wasted no time in strengthening their squad. Here’s who the Blues have signed ahead of the 2021/22 season:

Jade Pennock (signed from Sheffield United)

Louise Quinn (signed from Fiorentina)

Sarah Ewens (signed from Celtic)

Lucy Quinn (signed from Spurs)

Libby Smith (signed from Leicester City) 

Cecilie Sandvej (signed from FC Fleury 91)

Jamie Finn (signed from Shelbourne)

Marie Hourihan (signed from Sporting Braga)

Emily Ramsey (on loan from Manchester United)

Lisa Robertson (on loan from Celtic)

What do the fans think?

“The signings this summer are a difficult one to measure at this point in time,” said Editor of Midland Women’s Soccer Craig Hadley. “A lot of the players brought in don’t have much experience of the Women’s Super League. Having said that we’ve seen players come in and hit the ground running so hopefully that’s the case here.

“The best signing for me is the return of Lucy Quinn. Since the 2017/18 season we’ve lot player after player. In fact she’s the only one left from that squad now. She knows what it means to play for the club and is a wonderful person on and off the field. I think Blues could surprise some people this season. The days of challenging for the league are long gone but I hope to see the team rally together and keep their head above the relegation line once again.

The key player this season will be Louise Quinn. She’s a former WSL champion and her experience will be vital to marshal the defence and ensure we remain compact and hard to beat.

GMSw prediction

Final position in the table – 11th

Although the Blues have brought in some new personnel, they have also lost some star players. Claudia Walker for example has departed the club for pastures new and after struggling last season, it could be another uphill battle for the West Midlands outfit.

GiveMeSport Women WSL predictions

Top scorer – Jade Pennock

Jade Pennock will be eager to stamp her mark on her first ever WSL season as quickly as possible. The 28-year-old joins the Blues from Sheffield United, where she became the Blades’ top scorer and assist creator in their entire Championship history.

After a strong pre-season, Pennock looks in great form to quickly establish herself as one of Birmingham’s most vital players.

Jade Pennock

Player of the Season – Louise Quinn

For Birmingham to ensure they avoid relegation again this season, they will need to make sure their defence is tight and resilient. This is where Louise Quinn will really stand out for her new club.

The established Republic of Ireland international is a veteran of the game and has previously represented Arsenal. Quinn has the experience of playing for top level teams and she can use this knowledge to nullify some of the league’s most prolific attackers.

Birmingham City’s first fixture of the 2021/22 WSL season will take place against Spurs at the Tottenham Hotpsur Stadium on Saturday, September 4th. 

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