The new season in the Division 1 Féminine will be starting up soon (August 23rd, mark it down) and while most people will look to see if Olympique Lyonnais will win again or if Paris Saint-Germain will finally break OL’s stranglehold, FC Girondins de Bordeaux are making all the right moves this summer.
A seventh-placed finish two seasons ago was followed up by a fourth-placed finish and it looks like the club want to take it even further this upcoming season. The following steps could prove to be the start of something special at Bordeaux.
Losa brings in a wealth of experience
Whenever a team looks to make that next step or that leap into a bona fide team within a league, apart from signing star players, the manager is a key appointment. FCGB decided that Jérôme Dauba had taken the team as far as they could go and have brought in a manager who has traveled the length of the globe to be where he is today. Pedro Martínez Losa is not only an experienced manager in the women’s game but he’s also a proven one at that.
Losa’s first taste of success within the women’s game was with Rayo Vallecano Femenino with a Copa de la Reina title in 2008 and multiple UEFA Women’s Champions League appearances. He then moved on to work with the now defunct Western New York Flash in 2012 and helped the team become NWSL Shield winners during his time there as an assistant coach. Losa then decided to move back abroad and took over as the manager of Arsenal W.F.C. in 2014 where he proceeded to win the 2015 FA WSL Cup and the 2016 FA Women’s Cup. A technical role within Millwall Lionesses beckoned for Losa in 2018 after a mixed season with Arsenal beforehand and now he has found his way to France and with FCGB.
What makes Losa such a great acquisition for a team like Bordeaux is that he not only is very tactically astute but he is also very good at developing players and bringing them through to the first team. His time at Arsenal led to the rise of Leah Williamson, while his signings brought players like Sari van Veenendaal, Daniëlle van de Donk, Kim Little, Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema to the ‘Gunners’. Bordeaux have veteran experience and talented youngsters in their ranks so Losa is almost a perfect fit for the team.
The renaissance of Claire Lavogez
Coming in from Olympique Lyonnais last season sparked the return of Claire Lavogez. Lavogez had been a mainstay for the French national team but as OL brought in more players, Lavogez saw her time and her general level of play drop. A loan to FC Fleury 91 in the 2017/2018 season eventually led to Bordeaux signing Lavogez to the club in the last season and it seems as though Lavogez has regained her footing once again in the league.
✒ Le Club est heureux de vous annoncer la prolongation de @ClaireLavogez L'internationale française a signé un nouveau contrat de deux ans ! Elle sera bordelaise jusqu'en juin 2021.— FCGB Féminines (@fcgbgirls) May 28, 2019
➡ https://t.co/K7gkn2lQ9v pic.twitter.com/umwMTQJf2Y
As Bordeaux remained in the top four spots of the league for most of the season, Lavogez was at the heart of everything good that Bordeaux did last season. In 21 appearances, Lavogez scored three goals but popped up with six assists. That may seem paltry for someone of Lavogez’ talent but after flailing during her final season with OL, her overall play with Bordeaux will be something that their fans will have enjoyed seeing this past season. Lavogez signed a new contract recently that sees her remain with Bordeaux until 2021 and that bodes well for not only herself but the club overall as they have managed to keep one of their marquee players at the club.
Asseyi and Shaw could form a formidable partnership
Viviane Asseyi has been a revelation since joining the club last season. With 12 goals in 22 appearances, Asseyi was one of the more potent strikers in the league not playing for OL or PSG. She earned a call up to the French national team for the Women’s World Cup and although she may not have impressed during her three appearances, Asseyi looks to have cemented her spot in the national team setup due to how well she has adapted to life in Bordeaux.
Lavogez was Asseyi’s main support last season however, this season Asseyi can look to Khadija Shaw as well as Lavogez. The 22-year old Jamaican international has joined Bordeaux on a two-year contract and could surprise quite a few teams in the Division 1 Féminine this upcoming season. Shaw was not at her prolific best for Jamaica at the World Cup but her quality has been noted by many in the women’s game. With Losa mentoring her and with the likes of Asseyi and Lavogez on the pitch with her, Shaw could end up being the signing of the season.
The Division 1 Féminine is Olympique Lyonnais to lose this season, as it always is, but Bordeaux could find themselves challenging for a Champions League spot. PSG and Montpellier are prone to random dropped points in matches they should be winning and if FCGB can bring in the consistency that saw them finish fourth last season, they could become a real dark horse in the league,