For the third season in a row, Birmingham City are having a volatile summer. However, having already lost a large number of players there is new hope for optimism within the club.
In the last 12 days, the Blues have announced no less than five new signings.
Furthermore, they have a new head coach in place with Scott Booth being the fifth in two-and-a-half years. Booth, signed from Glasgow City, follows the departure of Carla Ward to close neighbours Aston Villa.
Despite losing a much-loved manager and so many players, albeit many were loan deals, Blues fans are feeling positive. Booth comes with a proven track record of success in Scotland and he’s quickly getting down to business in the Midlands.
Jade Pennock and Louise Quinn sign
His first signing is Jade Pennock, a powerful winger from Sheffield United. During her three years with the Blades, Pennock made 67 appearances and scored 29 goals. As a winger, she also provided several assists for the Yorkshire based club.
Pennock first developed her all-round skills in the United States including studying, playing and even coaching. She then moved back to Yorkshire playing for Doncaster Rovers Belles where they won the WSL 2 title in 2018.
Booth’s second signing is former Arsenal and Fiorentina defender, Louise Quinn. The 31-year-old comes with heaps of experience that Blues will be craving having lost Rachel Corsie so early-on in their last campaign.
Quinn also has more than 80 international caps for the Republic of Ireland scoring 11 goals. She will link up with fellow Irish defender, Harriet Scott to help boost Blues’ depleted back line.
Sarah Ewens and Libby Smith sign
It was inevitable that having spent so much time coaching in Scotland that Booth would sign a Scottish player. Sarah Ewens, 29-years-old, joins from Celtic on a two-year deal.
Booth will be hoping Ewens’ impressive goal scoring record will continue in England. She scored an incredible 64 times in 98 appearances for the Hoops, averaging one goal every 1.53 matches.
Having signed so many experienced players, Booth has also opted for youth. Libby Smith is only 19-years-old and signs from Leicester City. She can play as either a winger or striker.
Smith was part of the Championship winning side at Leicester making 14 appearances for the Foxes. She comes with the added bonus of versatility having also played several games at right back.
Lucy Quinn re-signs for Blues a second time
Lucy Quinn joins Birmingham on another two-year contract having previously spent two years with the Blues from 2017 to 2019. The attacking player spent two years at Tottenham Hotspur where she made 34 WSL appearances.
Quinn is known for her athleticism and goal scoring heroics. She notably scored the winning goal for Spurs against West Ham United in front of over 24,000 people at the London Stadium.
Lucy also scored a stunning goal in Birmingham City’s famous 3-2 victory away to Chelsea in 2019 by picking out the corner of the goal from long range. This goal earned Quinn both the Goal of the Season and the Ultimate Goal of the Season awards at Birmingham’s Player Awards ceremony.
Future is bright for the Blues
These five new signings will certainly give Blues fans an inkling of hope. Although having also lost so many other players, there is certainly more work to be done.
Most of the new players have signed on two-year deals so that will give the club some much needed stability. However, with time running out, Blues could well opt for the loan market again to bolster the squad.
A further option is to make use of their academy players. A number of youngsters including full-back Abi Cowie, goalkeeper Lucy Jones and previous BCFC award winner Hannah Fishwick are all gaining valuable experience.
Ex-academy players Lily Simkin and Gemma Lawley have already been rewarded with professional contracts at Birmingham. Both these players impressed over the past two seasons and their hard work has paid off. There are bound to be more opportunities ahead in what promises to be an intriguing season for Birmingham.