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Women's Football News
Essex County FA's cup final schedule gets underway on Mothering Sunday (15th March) at Burnham Ramblers FC when the Under 14s Girls and Under 16s Girls Cups reach their conclusions.
Three of the four sides are first-time finalists, but the day could be extremely special for Writtle Minors in the older age group as they seek to become just the second club to win both the Under 14s and the Under 16s Girls competitions. Boss Duncan Archer is excited about the prospect. "The girls section has been pretty successful - probably more so than the boys' sides - and we've been assisted by a ladies team joining the club," he explains.
"Having somewhere for the girls to progress to and something to aspire to is terrific and my squad of players have actually won their division in each of the last six seasons. We play better in crunch matches and an example of that was last weekend's win over West Ham United when we avenged our only defeat of the season. That prepared us well for today," Archer adds of his Under 15s (Greens) team.
Writtle's opponents are Assandun Vikings, who will be participating in their first County Cup final during their 13th season. Their Manager, Dave O'Shea, is rightly proud of his side's achievement: "I'd say it's a worthy reward. We're delighted to have reached the final and we're really looking forward to it; win or lose we'll enjoy the day!"
"We've been left a little nearer the relegation places than the top three in the league, but we're probably in a false position. I think our recent win over Tottenham Hotspur proves what we are capable of achieving and we'll be looking to take that form into the cup final," he proclaims in an interview for the official matchday programme.
Two new finalists in the Under 14s Girls Cup Final will be seeking to become the sixth different winners of the competition in its sixth season. Colebrook Royals overcame a strong Leigh Ramblers side, 3-0, in the Semi-Finals, and Manager Louisa Sadler believes a link-up with Arsenal, and the set-up at Grange Farm, have helped them to progress as a club. "As you can imagine, Arsenal receive thousands of requests for trials each season," she explains.
"Where we come into this is as a feeder club for them, where essentially they allow trialists to play for us and we'll help give them a football education. If the players do well, Arsenal will go back in for them and that also works both ways; when Arsenal release players we are offered them first. It's working pretty well. The facilities we can offer are definitely helping us and I'd like to think that's helped us to attract some good players," says Sadler.
Essex County Girls League Under 14s 'A' Division rivals Great Danes (Lions) will be hoping for a repeat of the first game of the season in this encounter as they go in search of a league and cup double. Great Danes won that clash 4-1 and, with four wins and a draw in their last five league games, they have risen to second in the league table.
"I've made sure everyone is aware this is the first time Great Danes, as a club, have reached a County Cup final!" reports boss, Andrew Mitchell. "Hopefully we'll be very well supported on the day. A few of the boys' teams will be playing, but I'm sure there'll be a lot of relatives out to support us! I think being favourites probably suits us and, if I'm honest, I'd expect us to win the game."
Colebrook Royals vs Great Danes (Lions) in the Under 14s kicks off at 11am on Sunday 15th March at Leslie Field, Burnham Ramblers FC. Assandun Vikings vs Writtle Minors (Greens) in the Under 16s kicks-off at 3pm at the same venue. Admission for each match is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions and matchday programmes are provided free with entry.
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