Bristol City Women manager Tanya Oxtoby tests positive for Covid-19

Tanya Oxtoby is the latest member of the Bristol City Women staff to test positive for the coronavirus


Bristol City Women’s manager Tanya Oxtoby will be absent from the dugout on Saturday against Tottenham after testing positive for Covid-19 following a series of cases at the club.

Oxtoby developed symptoms on Monday after five of her players were forced into isolation ahead of their 8-1 Women’s Super League trouncing by Manchester City last week.

The Bristol City manager had already expressed anger at the Football Association for failing to give the team a reprieve last weekend before she tested positive herself.

Coronavirus cases have surged faster in Bristol than anywhere else in the south since the city’s two universities allowed students back in September.

Bristol City had reviewed their safety procedures following a recent surge of cases in the city and at the college where they train. Players are understood to believe they were infected while training at Bristol City’s South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

The outbreak has caused havoc for a club at the foot of the WSL table. Last week the FA refused to move their match even though the West Country club’s entire squad were forced to miss a training session.

Oxtoby will miss both City’s matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Lewes FC. “I’m wishing the girls the best of luck for the two games we have coming up," she said. "I’m gutted I won’t be able to be there and will be in contact and support the team where I can throughout my isolation.”

Men’s academy manager Gary Probert will come into support the coaching staff.

"All other Covid-19 results from the latest round of testing returned negative, including the group of five players who had been in self-isolation since Saturday after one developed symptoms," the club said.

"Abi Harrison, Ella Mastrantonio, Charlie Wellings, Gemma Evans and Meaghan Sargeant re-joined the playing group for Wednesday’s training session ahead of the fixture against Tottenham Hotspur."