The England Women’s team will make a welcome return to Bristol in August when they face Russia.
The England Women’s team will make a welcome return to Bristol in August when they face Russia in a Nationwide international to be played at Bristol Rovers FC.
The friendly match will take place on Thursday 19 August, with a 7.35pm kick-off, and will be shown live on Sky Sports.
England Women last played at the Memorial Stadium in May 2000, winning 1-0 over Switzerland in a Euro 2001 qualifier thanks to a Sue Smith goal.
This time around England will be hoping for another victory as they prepare for the next UEFA European Women’s Championship, which will be held in England from 05-19 June 2005 and for which England qualify automatically.
National Coach Hope Powell OBE said: "We’re delighted to be returning to Bristol Rovers after the fantastic reception we received from the crowd last time out.
"We are now in our final season of preparations for Euro 2005 and every player in fighting for their place in the squad.
"It’s important that we continue to pitch ourselves against the best sides in the world and perform well as a team in the lead-up to that tournament.
"2005 will be a great showcase for women’s football and will be played in the North West of England.
"We are taking the team around the country prior to the tournament to give all England fans the chance to support the team and we’re hopeful that we can get another big attendance at the Memorial Stadium."
The Football Association wanted to bring a women’s international to Bristol to acknowledge the growth of women’s football in the South West and celebrate the fact that two Bristol teams will compete in the top flight next season; women’s football is the top female sport in England and playing figures hit the 100,000 mark in the 2003-04 season.
Bristol-born England midfielder Rachel McArthur, who re-signed for Bristol City earlier this week from Fulham, added: "I’ve played at the Memorial Stadium before for Fulham and there has always been a great atmosphere there, although I hope the fans will be cheering for me this time!
"I’ll have a lot of family and friends at the game, and I really hope the people of Bristol turn out to show their support for top class international football coming to the area."
England have met Russia twice before – securing a 1-1 draw at Euro 2001 in Germany and 2-2 in Moscow last October.
Russia qualified for last year’s Women’s World Cup so will provide a tough test for Hope Powell’s side. England will then meet the Netherlands in a double header in September in Holland.
England have played three home internationals so far this season, beating Denmark 2-0 in February at Portsmouth FC, losing 0-3 to African champions Nigeria at Reading FC in April and beating Iceland 1-0 at Peterborough United FC in May.
Tickets for the match, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions in advance, rising to £5 and £2 on the day of the game will go on sale on Monday 05 July from the Bristol Rovers FC ticket office.
There will be special group rates for local clubs and schools. For further details check out TheFA.com or call 0117 909 6648.