Former Aston Villa and England defender makes move to Bristol City

Bristol City’s backroom staff has been bolstered by the arrival of a player with huge pedigree in the Women’s game
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Recently retired defender Anita Asante has joined the coaching staff of Bristol City’s Women’s team for the upcoming campaign.

Asante, who called time on her 19-year long playing career, will assist head coach Lauren Smith for the 2022/23 Barclays Championship season.

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The 37-year-old has appeared as a pundit for the Women’s Euro’s over the last few weeks but will now take to her first coaching role with the Vixens.

She had spent the last two seasons at Villa and had helped them solidify their place after winning promotion. In an interview with the Guardian back in April she expressed her desire to manage Arsenal one day.

Asante is currently studying for her UEFA B Licence with the Football Association of Wales, which is also where Smith began her coaching journey.

“I’m delighted to be here and have the opportunity to work with a great crop of players,” she said after taking the role.

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“It’s a really motivated group and the staff have welcomed me in so I’m hoping I can use my knowledge and experience from my playing days in my coaching journey.

“Hopefully I can bring experience from playing at several clubs at the highest level in the women’s game but also my international career as well, as I have played in different countries for different managers and different styles of play.

“The intensity that I have seen them put into the sessions so far show that they are an ambitious group that are really connected. Their communication has been spot on and that just makes it easier for us to work with them to get them to levels where we all want to get to.”

Asante had a successful playing career, winning the UEFA Women’s Cup, the League Cup and the Women’s Premier League before its rebrand to the Women’s Super League, during her time at the all-dominating Arsenal side of the early 200s.

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She also played for Chelsea and had spells in the United States with Saint Louis, Chicago, Washington Freedom, as well as two stints with Sky Blue. The centre-back was also successful in Sweden with both Goteborg and FC Rosengard.

Her time in Sweden saw her twice win the Swedish Cup with  both sides and accumulated more than 100 appearances in the Swedish top-flight.

Her career at club level allowed her to make 71 appearances for the England national team from 2004 to 2022 onwards, playing in the 2011 World Cup whilst she also played for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.

Head Coach Smith said: “Anita will be a fantastic addition to our coaching staff with her vast level of knowledge and experience within the game.

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“She’s just setting out on her coaching career and we believe our environment will allow her to develop and flourish on the training pitches and the touchline, ultimately contributing to our success on the pitch.”

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