The New Saints Ladies’ history-making run continues, as this weekend they once more engage in SSE Women’s FA Cup action. Following on from the recent visit to the north-east of England, when they beat Newcastle United Women 2-1 in their first ever appearance in the third round, they now go one better as Chichester City Ladies visit Park Hall.
The fourth round tie is on Sunday, February 4 2018 with a noon kick-off, and ahead of the big game we caught up with manager, Andy Williams.
TNS: Andy, the game in the last round was described by many as the biggest game in TNS Ladies’ history. This takes things to another level!
Andy: We are happy for the many to talk because it means we are going well, but I guess in the spectators’ eyes every time you win then the next game becomes even bigger. For me, the girls and the team it’s just another game of football to enjoy – simple as that.
TNS: With limited information out there, compared to men’s football, how have you been able to prepare for the game from the perspective of the opponents?
Andy: Yes that is a limiting factor, but something we are used to whoever our opponent. We know nothing about Chichester so we are just concentrating on playing to our own strengths.
TNS: In view of the little you’ve been able to find out about Chichester City Ladies, and without giving away any secrets of course, will there be changes in your usual approach to a game?
Andy: We see this very much as a one-off game, a free hit if you like. Chichester are the better side with a richer pedigree, we know that; so we know there will be long periods of the game when we will need to defend for our lives. We will have to be brave and strike when our one moment comes.
TNS: Away from the game directly but still very much part of the focus, you’ve made a couple of new signings this week. How did they come about?
Andy: Examining our league position and the run-in, we wanted to add to the squad to ensure both greater depth numbers wise, as well as adding quality if possible. We put the word out we were looking for players and thankfully we scooped two brilliant additions. Lisa and Julie are both good people and great players. They will fit in well.
TNS: Are they both available for selection on Sunday?
Andy: Julie Stirrup is cup-tied having played for Sporting Khalsa but Lisa Stevenson will come straight into the squad.
TNS: Back to the big match, how can supporters get behind TNS Ladies?
Andy: We would encourage any interested spectators to come and enjoy the game, make some noise and cheering us on of course. We had a superb turn out for our FA Cup victory over Shrewsbury Town for a tie played at Four Crosses but with this game at Park Hall we hope more people will come and enjoy the entertainment spurring us on. For anyone who can’t afford the £3 entry we’d love you to tweet us!
TNS: Well, Andy, all the very best for Sunday from all of us at The New Saints.
Andy: Thanks Stewart, and a huge thanks to the many people who have sent us their best wishes.
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