Paul Walker - Crawley Wasps

Wasps want the treble

Crawley Wasps preview ahead of the Sussex Women's Challenge Cup Final

The final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup is due to take place on Thursday 22 March between Crawley Wasps and Lewes.

Crawley Wasps vs. Lewes
Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup Final 
Date: Thursday 22 March 2018 
Kick-off: 7.15pm
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Crawley Wasps will proudly walk out onto the pitch at Culver Road Thursday evening for a third consecutive season and this time around will be aiming to make it a third time lucky after losing out to Brighton and Hove Albion on two previous county cup final occasions.

The Wasps are having a terrific campaign thus far and are unbeaten in all competitions. Not only have they reached their league cup final which is due to be played in May but they are hopeful in their quest of getting promoted into the FA Women’s National League South East (currently FA Women’s Premier League Division 1 South East).

Wasps manager Paul Walker said: “All the objectives we set at the start of the season, we are on track for.

“The priority was to win our league and secure promotion, which is looking likely. The second was to win our league cup final and thirdly to make the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup Final again.”

The Wasps have improved considerably from last season due to many factors, including the recruitment of a new head coach, two strength and conditioning coaches, plus securing a partnership with Cottesmore Golf and Country Club. The aim of these improvements is to implement a professional environment for the players by providing fantastic foundations and facilities to enable them to become better footballers.

Walker believes that this season is the Wasps year after getting so close last year: “Last year we had a good campaign, we made the Sussex County final, league final and were runners up in the league, so this season it has been important for us to really push on.”

It has not gone unnoticed that the club are building strong foundations with an intent to prove that they are a worthy women’s football club who are on the up and due to that have made a statement by bringing in quality players from a higher standard. Walker believes it is key to add strength and depth to his squad when competing at the next level: “To name a few, we have re-signed Naomi Cole who is our captain, Darcy James returns from Lewes and we have recently signed Rachel Palmer who has made 110 appearances for Lewes.

“All of the players that we have signed shows that it is a good period for Crawley and we hope to continue attracting players because it’s our aspiration to create a successful women’s side in Crawley.”

Although the Wasps compete two leagues below their opposition Lewes, the side have gained valuable experience of playing friendlies against other FA Women’s Premier League sides, including the likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham and Gillingham and Walker highlights how important it is to be consistent in order to challenge at that level.

“We have to make sure that the players deliver consistently and have the confidence that they can play at Lewes’ level.

“We have many players who have played at a higher level and are used to winning so I am hoping they bring their winning mentality into the final and encourage the rest of the squad to bring their A-game on the night.”

The Wasps manager, who is also the chairman of the club knows that they are not favourites but promises that it will be a real spectacle for women’s football within Sussex: “We are going to be the underdogs and we know that it’s going to be a challenging final to come out as winners, but it’s a cup competition and we have a great squad.

“It’s always one that the ladies enjoy regardless of the opposition and outcome.”

Crawley Wasps route to the final consisted of winning 2-0 against Chichester City Ladies development and Eastbourne Ladies and Girls.

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)

For further details about the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup, please contact Competitions:

T: 01903 753547