Sunday will see the first of two women’s FA Cup finals play out at Wembley this season. The fixture has been carried over from the 2019/20 campaign, following the worldwide freeze on all football.
Title holders Manchester City will hope to retain their crown as they prepare to lock horns with Everton on the big stage. Gemma Bonner spoke to Her Football Hub ahead of the historic match.
“It’s a chance to make history,” the defender said. “It’s something that no team has ever done before but we have the opportunity to go and do it.”
Indeed, City have the chance to potentially win back-to-back FA Cup titles in the same season. Should they secure a double win, it will write their name in the history books of the sport.
However, before they can get their hands on another cup, they must fend off an in-form Everton side. The Toffees dealt a shock defeat to Chelsea at Goodison Park to seal their ticket into the semi-finals in September. Gareth Taylor and his team will not be underestimating the Merseyside club’s threat.Embed from Getty Images
“Every team is strong,” Bonner admitted. “You look across the league now and I don’t think there’s any game you can go into and take a win as a given. I think Everton in particular have recruited really well and that’s reflected in the results they’ve been getting on the pitch. They’re flying high with confidence.
“It’s going to be a very tough game and we’re expecting that but it makes for an exciting final.”
Man City’s Chance for Silverware
Although the Citizens may not have kicked off their season how they’d liked, Sunday’s final is the perfect opportunity to switch into high gear. Bonner believes that with the club’s clever summer business, they have the personnel to get the job done.
“We’ve brought in a few players and they’ve been huge additions because they’re used to winning,” the England international commented. “Rose [Lavelle] and Sam [Mewis] have won World Cups and it doesn’t get much bigger than that. They know what it takes to win.”Embed from Getty Images
The duo helped guide the USA to their fourth World Cup last year, as well as finding success in the SheBelieves Cup. They both join City from their respective clubs in the NWSL.
One signing who recently penned a long-term deal is former Everton star Chloe Kelly. The striker is already showcasing her ability in sky blue and Bonner has waxed lyrical over her impact.
“Chloe has probably gone under the radar a bit with her signing but you’ve only got to look at the performances she’s put in for us. She’s scored some big goals already for us this season. She’s been a real asset for us.”Embed from Getty Images
Kelly has netted three times for Man City so far this term and will be looking to continue her run of fiery form against her former club on Sunday.
Unfortunately for both the players and fans, they will be playing out the FA Cup final in front of completely empty stands. The ongoing coronavirus crisis continues to prohibit supporters from attending live matches.
“Fans are a huge part of the game and as players, we’d love to have them there,” Bonner reflected. “I guess we’ve got a bit more experience than Everton because we played the Community Shield at Wembley with no fans. That experience was a big learning curve for us and I’m sure we’ll draw from that experience.
“But the safety of everyone is the most important thing and hopefully we get a good following from home. It’s now across all the media channels which is huge for women’s sport in general, not just for football.”
The Women’s FA Cup final will be broadcast outside of the UK for the first time ever. Find out how you can watch in your country here.