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Birmingham and Chelsea set for Final
 Women's Football News 25 May 2012
 
Birmingham and Chelsea set for Final   - 25 May 2012 - Women's Football NewsWhatever happens on Saturday, a new name will appear on the F.A.Women's Cup after the Final at Ashton Gate. 
 
In fact, Birmingham City and Chelsea are both playing in the Final for the first time in their history although the two teams do contain players who have picked up winners medals in the past.
 
One of those is Birmingham captain Laura Bassett who spent eight years with the Blues earlier in her career before leaving the Midlands for London (Arsenal) and Leeds. Silverware soon followed as Bassett won the League, the FA Women's Cup and two Premier League Cups.
 
The 28-year-old rejoined the Blues in time for the advent of the FA WSL last year and was quickly handed the captain's armband by manager Dave Parker. Last season she helped guide Birmingham to second place in the table and to a runners-up spot in the Continental Cup, losing out to Arsenal on both occasions, and now she is determined to kick on and win trophies with her local club.
 
"It's nice to be a part of the good times at Birmingham but I've seen the bad times as well, so if we were to win the Cup I think it would make it that little bit more special," she said. "We have been speaking a lot as a squad in the build-up to this Final and it is actually surprising how much we have won in our careers.
 
"Players like Jo Potter, Rachel Unitt, Karen Carney, Rebecca Spencer, Eniola Aluko, Emily Westwood and me have all won trophies elsewhere, so we have all got that experience to draw upon. But now we want to win something with Birmingham.
 
"I've been fortunate enough to have played in, and won, an FA Cup Final before but I've never had the privilege or the honour of leading a team out in The Final. And for it to be my local team, a club that means so much to me, makes it even better."
 
Meanwhile Dunia Susi could prove to be Chelsea's secret weapon in the Final - in more ways than one. The England international has scored in every round of this season's competition so far and she captained her side to a shock victory over perennial Cup winners Arsenal in the semi finals.
 
However it could be her familiarity with the Midlanders which could prove most beneficial to Chelsea. Susi spent last season at Birmingham and was a key part of David Parker's squad that finished second in the League and reached the Final of the League Cup. Now, though, she is fully focussed on winning this competition with Chelsea.
 
"We haven't played Birmingham yet this season but we know what to expect from them, especially me, because I was there last season," she said. "I know the players and the management staff around them. They have done really well in the last couple of years and they will definitely be there or thereabouts in the League again this season.
 
"They have got a great squad, from the goalkeeper right through to the forward line. Rachel Williams is always a threat. She is always looking to get in behind and is strong in the air and Jo Potter likes to get on the ball and try a few long diagonals.
 
"They have made a few big signings as well. They have brought in Rachel Unitt to strengthen the back four and Eniola Aluko as well, so they look as strong as they were last year.
 
"But if we can get tight to them and stop them playing we will be hard to beat. We have done our homework on them and we are prepared.
 
"It will be an interesting game and we are definitely looking forward to it."
 
(TheFA.com)

 
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