Buck­land ladies head to Wat­ford for an­other mas­sive mile­stone

WOMEN’S FOOT­BALL

Herald Express - - Marketplace - BY LEE HALL

BUCK­LAND Ath­letic ladies have the big­gest game in their short but suc­cess­ful his­tory when they travel to Wat­ford for the se­cond round proper of the Women’s FA Cup on Sun­day.

Hav­ing al­ready tasted three pro­mo­tions since the team’s for­ma­tion in 2015, now man­ager Grant Fisher (right) and his side are rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to pit their wits against a Wat­ford side that has played in FA Women’s Su­per League foot­ball since its in­cep­tion in 2014 – af­ter they fin­ished run­ners-up in the FA Women’s Pre­mier League in 2013.

Wat­ford were de­moted last sea­son to the FA Women’s Na­tional League – tier three in the pyra­mid – fol­low­ing the re­struc­tur­ing of women’s foot­ball in Eng­land.

But against a Wat­ford side which boasts a plethora of women’s foot­ball stars, in­clud­ing Wales in­ter­na­tional and for­mer Arse­nal and Chelsea striker He­len Ward, it prom­ises to be a huge chal­lenge for Buck­land – but one which they will rel­ish on the big stage.

Fisher said: “Buck­land ver­sus Wat­ford in the FA Cup sounds re­ally un­usual and a lit­tle sur­real – but the play­ers have earned this.

“It’s the big­gest game we have had since we formed three years ago. It’s cer­tainly the big­gest gap be­tween clubs in the se­cond round, too – but that won’t faze us.

“If we beat them it would be one of the big­gest up­sets in the FA Cup, and while we will go there and en­joy it, we are go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing. It will be an up­hill bat­tle, you only have to look at the bud­gets. They have one and we don’t!”

Buck­land’s play­ers – with an av­er­age age of 22 – will travel to Lon­don on Sat­ur­day, and will train on Tot­ten­ham Hot­pur’s ladies’ train­ing pitch, ahead of the se­cond round tie, which is be­ing played at Gay­wood Park, home of Kings Langley.

Fisher said: “We will pre­pare in the best pos­si­ble way. We will train the day be­fore the game, and we will go there with a game plan.

“If get beat play­ing the way we like to play then so be it, but we will do our own thing and go for it.

“It will be great for them to ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing against some top play­ers and I will be very proud.

“The club has come such a long way in a short space of time, with over 100 ladies and girls now rep­re­sent­ing the var­i­ous teams.”

Fisher added: “We have no fi­nan­cial back­ing, which is what makes this all the more spe­cial. We all do it be­cause we want to do it.”

Mean­while, Buck­land’s West­ern League game at home to Cad­bury Heath was post­poned on Sat­ur­day due to a wa­ter­logged pitch.

Richard Pears’ men were hop­ing to re­turn to ac­tion in the Les Phillips Cup last night (Tues­day), where they were due to travel to Bris­ling­ton.

If the weather is kind, they are on the road to Brid­port in the league on Sat­ur­day.

Goal cel­e­bra­tions for Natalie War­man of Buck­land dur­ing their Women’s FA Cup win against Chel­tenham

PPAUK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.