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Helston Athletic are confident that they can acquit themselves well when they take on Marine Academy Plymouth in the First Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women's FA Cup on Sunday.
The Cornwall League team won a thrilling tie 5-4 against Saltash United to reach this stage of the competition and manager Paul Parfitt told Women's Soccer Scene that he has faith in his squad as they face up to opponents from two levels higher.
"We are eager with anticipation ahead of facing MAP in the FA Cup on Sunday," he said. "We know the league pyramid will tell you that they are strong favourites and rightly so but we have established a strong squad and like MAP, have completed a 100% winning pre-season and maintained that into the start of the competitive season. So we look to capitalise on the underdog tag in true FA Cup style and I know if we play to the level we are capable of, you could well see Helston's name in the next round draw.
One player who has rejoined the club is striker Sasha Sparkes, who is the club's record goalscorer and captain. "After a season away from the club, the first FA Cup match versus Saltash was a brilliant battle and we went out to win and that's exactly what we did," she says.
"Playing at Helston again feels like home. It's good to be back."
"I joined this summer because I wanted to win," added new signing, midfielder Dani White. "Helston had signed some of the best players in Cornwall, which I've played with before and wanted to play alongside again, as well as a well organised club. The manager is alright too I guess.
"The Saltash game was definitely our biggest test so far this season, one in which we needed to work for each other but we all put in 100% effort and got the result we deserved. We look forward to doubt the same again on Sunday versus MAP."
"As manager the thing that makes this squad such a football team is not only the extremely talented players that we have assembled but equally important is the support from behind the scenes at Helston Athletic," said Parfitt.
"From Paul Hendy, the Club Chairman and first team manager Steve Massey all the way through the club from Jeff who organises the kits, Tommy the physio and of course my coach Martyn Pennington, the commitment and dedication to women's football at the club is second to none."
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