Manchester City Women ended their second Women’s Super League (WSL) season in second place, winning or drawing 12 of their 14 league matches, and reached the quarter-final and semi-final in two cup competitions.
League results were particularly strong following the World Cup, with eight wins and one draw, ensuring a tense end to the season that ended just two points short of the top spot.
In the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup, City faced Arsenal away in the quarter final, losing narrowly to a team out to avenge their previous season’s title defeat.
An away loss to Chelsea in the 120th minute of the FA Cup semi-final spoiled the chance of a trip to Wembley, and saw City knocked out of the competition for the second consecutive season at the same stage.
October also brought a new landmark achievement for City as they secured Champions League football with a final day victory over Notts County.
Qualification for the UEFA Champions League marked an important milestone in the team’s history, and the fulfilment of an important objective set at the time of the Club’s inception.
24-year-old Izzy Christiansen had a standout season, scoring six goals in nine league games and winning the prestigious player-nominated ‘PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year’. Lucy Bronze became the first ever female footballer to be nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and was nominated for Goal of the Tournament at the World Cup. Two City players – Kiera Walsh and Nikita Parris – were nominated for Young Player of the Year at the PFAs.
U17 England captain Georgia Stanway joined City in July 2015, taking the number of international players in the squad to 16 (12 seniors and four youth internationals).
The FIFA Women’s World Cup took place in June 2015 in Canada. Five City players featured in the bronze-winning England team, and 2.4 million people watched their semi-final live on British television. They returned home as tournament heroes, receiving invites to Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, and a meeting with Prince William. Captain Steph Houghton was awarded an MBE and three City players were named in the FIFA All Star Squad – the only WSL players to feature.
In February 2016, the team travelled to Abu Dhabi for a pre-season training camp, and a match against touring sister-club, Melbourne City Women. The game, the FBMA Challenge, was the second ever match between City Football Group teams, and was screened in the UK, US and Australia.
At the City Football Academy in Manchester, City took on FC Rosengard and Pieta, winning both games, to complete their pre-season preparation.