FC United Women go in to tomorrow’s Manchester FA Women’s Challenge Cup semi-final off-the-back of a run that sees them remain unbeaten in 2019 and yet to concede a goal. Captain Kirsty Chambers’ recent form has been a highlight of the spell and the skipper expressed her delight when speaking to us in this week’s feature interview.
“The results speak for themselves really. The team keeping together and working for each other has been key. Everyone is stepping up and fighting for positions which is more important than ever this season.”
The captain’s sharp start to the calendar year has already seen her net twelve times in just six games for FCUMW, including a record eight-goal haul in the recent win against Accrington Girls & Ladies.
“For me personally, it’s the determination of knowing what’s at stake this season. When I filled in for Jess [Battle] against Accrington I was just thinking about scoring goals – we know how important goal difference could be this season.”
Despite the Reds’ recent run, Chambers and her teammates haven’t played since the beginning of March and only six times in three months since the turn of the year. It’s something that she looks to take the positives from, however.
“There’s two sides to it as players – the positive being the team having another chance to re-group and come together more.
“There is always a down side [to not playing], as we want to keep the momentum we have rolling, but this weekend more than ever we know how much we want to do the job and come away with a win in the semi-final.”
That game this weekend sees United come up against NWWRL Division One South leaders West Didsbury & Chorlton Women in the semi-final of this season’s County Cup. The Reds beat their opponents at the same stage of the competition last season, but Chambers doesn’t believe that gives United any edge going in to the game with Sunday’s hosts.
“We don’t see it any different – a game is a game and we want to beat everyone week-in-week-out so it’s the same preparation in that sense.
“I think in terms of mentality it’s perhaps a bit different. We know that it’s going to be a tough game but the motivation and determination all the girls have got at the moment is key. We’re just going to go out and play the football that we play every week and just see it as a normal game.
Sunday’s game is the Reds first visit to Brookburn Road since lifting the County Cup at the back end of last season. Chambers admits that the Reds are more than up for the task ahead of them when they return on Sunday.
“Motivation for every game is key, it’s the kind of game that every player wants to play in. It’s our cup to retain so we’ll do everything we can to do that.”
You can see Kirsty Chambers and her teammates attempt to continue the defence of the Manchester FA Women’s Challenge Cup, by reaching a third successive final, in tomorrow’s semi-final against West Didsbury & Chorlton Women. The game is a 2pm kick-off and at The Recreation Ground, Brookburn Road, Manchester (M21 8FE).
We hope to see you there!
By Mikey Partington