The final of the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (under-16s) is due to take place on Sunday 4 March 2018 between Eastbourne Ladies and Girls and Crawley Wasps Ladies.
Eastbourne Ladies and Girls vs. Crawley Wasps Ladies
Sussex Girls Challenge Cup Final (under-16s)
Date: Sunday 4 March 2018
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Eastbourne Ladies and Girls side will face Crawley Wasps on Culver Road’s 3G pitch Sunday evening
Since Eastbourne manager, Paul Critchfield first took on the team at under-10s level his side have been going from strength to strength and have won numerous leagues, league cups and county cups over the years.
Critchfield’s girls have already won their league with one game left to play, sitting comfortably six points clear and are also due to feature in the semi-final of their league cup next weekend.
As mentioned, Eastbourne Ladies and Girls are no stranger to cup success and last year became champions of the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (under-14s) by beating Oakwood Girls 2-0.
Critchfield said: “Just to get to the under-16s final this year is an achievement for us, we had a good day last year and we entered it this year just to see how we would fair - It’s been a great effort from the girls.
“It will either be a really good season or a bit of a disappointing season and that will be determined over the next two weekends, but as long as the girls enjoy it that’s the main part.”
Throughout the cup competition Eastbourne have been missing five players from their squad of seventeen as they are ineligible to play due to their age (under-14s). However, those girls will be part of the large contingent that will be making their way down to Lancing in a coach to support their team on Sunday.
Although Eastbourne are an under-15s team, competing in one lower age category league to their opponents, Crawley Wasps, Critchfield believes that his team can produce on the day.
“I think it will be a tough game, we are probably the underdogs as we are the year below, but we have beaten under-16 opposition already so who knows.
“We are going to give it a go and see what happens, we are just really pleased to be here,” he continued.
Crawley Wasps boss, Mark Graves is in his first year as manager but has been involved with the team since under-11s and says: “To win this cup would really justify a lot of the work we are putting into the club, we want to grow and strengthen as a club and this will really show that.
“If we actually win it then all the better, but it just puts a marker on where we want to be as a team and a club.”
The Wasps played in the boys Mid Sussex Youth and Minor League last season and Graves admits that his side struggled to compete with boys, despite seeing benefits in his players.
“We had a difficult season last year, playing in the boy’s league and it’s just been nice to get back to winning and scoring goals.
“Looking at the results of last season probably doesn’t reflect, but I believe it did have some benefits as it has made them more aware of what’s around them and perhaps a bit more physical.”
Despite the age group gap of Crawley’s opposition, Graves does not think that it will make much of a noticeable difference and recognises that Eastbourne are a good side.
“We know it’s not going to be easy but I don’t think there is much difference in under-15 to under-16, it’s all about footballing ability.”
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£3.00 Adult (17+)
£2.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
For further details about the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (under-16s) please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547