Sussex Womens Challenge Trophy Final Preview
The final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy is due to take place on Thursday 8 March 2018 between Burgess Hill Town Ladies and Newhaven Ladies.
Burgess Hill Town Ladies vs. Newhaven Ladies
Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy Final
Date: Thursday 8 March 2018
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Burgess Hill boss, Mark Bishop is in his fifth season in charge of the Women’s side and is relishing the opportunity of leading his side out at their first County Cup Final on Thursday evening.
“It means a whole lot to the club, getting to the final has given the girls a real buzz and a bit of a confidence boost, they are really looking forward to it,” he said.
Despite this being Burgess Hill’s first County Cup Final, the ladies are familiar faces to local cup occasions, having lifted the South East Counties Women’s Football League Chairman’s Cup last season and are due to play in the semi-final this Sunday against Faversham Strike Force Ladies.
With game postponements due to the recent poor weather, Bishop is keen to showcase his sides playing style at Culver Road.
“We like to play football on the floor, and try to play football properly but recently with the boggy pitches we have played it hasn’t really allowed us to do that, so we are really looking forward to playing on a 3G surface.
“We are just going to go out there with confidence and hopefully we get the right result at the end of the day,” he continued.
The Hillians will be missing some key players due to injury and goalkeeper Becky Wilson will be their main absentee as she will be away serving in the British Army. But fortunately Tracy Smith, who originally retired from football, will be making her return between the sticks.
“We are gutted for Becky because it seems as though it’s every big game she misses due to work, but having Tracy on board has always been good for us because she is really experienced and can just come in and do a job,” said the manager.
Although Burgess Hill play one level higher than opponents Newhaven, Bishop is expecting a tough game, but will not be letting his side suffer from any complacency on the day.
Newhaven Ladies were formed this season after a decision was made by the club to merge their under-16s and under-18s team together, with a mixture of senior players showing interest from other sides to form a ladies team.
They entered into the Sussex County Women’s & Girls Football League and are in the title race, currently sitting second in the league and have gone eleven games out of eleven unbeaten, with games in hand.
Andy Cook co-manages the Ladies side with Alex Ladd and they are really excited to have got this far in the County Cup in their first season.
“If we do manage to go all the way, it will be very rewarding and a fantastic achievement for a first season as a team.
“We know what to expect and we know that we need to be at our best. It needs to be a good spectacle and I’m sure it will be; I’m sure both teams will raise their performance on the night.
“We are lucky at Newhaven because we always get a good crowd to our games, so we are expecting those to come and enjoy the day with us at the Sussex County FA Headquarters,” said Cook, who is also the joint manager for the Men’s First Team.
The aim for the Dockers is to gain promotion, lift the Trophy and create a development team for the following season, but they are not getting ahead of themselves.
“We have thirty three players registered and we always get large numbers to training, which is very rewarding. We have plans in place but we are taking each game step by step.”
Newhaven are also missing a couple of players, including second top goal scorer, Kate Franks who is currently carrying out charity work in Tanzania, Africa and will absent for the remainder of the season.
“Not having Kate in the side will be a huge loss as she is a great player, but our team is more than capable,” said Cook.
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)