The final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy is due to take place on Thursday 21 April 2022 between Steyning Town Community and Eastbourne United.
Steyning Town Community vs. Eastbourne United
Date: Thursday 21 April 2022
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, BN15 9AX
South East Counties Women’s Football League rivals come head-to-head Steyning Town Community face Eastbourne United.
Steyning Town with five games to go in their league campaign and are vying for the title - the County Cup Final would be reward for the journey manager, Danny Norris, has been on with his players.
“The girls are very excited which is good, they've worked really hard. This one of two finals we're playing in. We're just really looking forward to it, it's been a good transition for these girls over the last couple of years - there'll be nerves I'm sure but they'll be absolutely fine.
“We know Eastbourne quite well - we've played them twice in the league this year and we have them in two cup finals so we'll know each other very well by next week!
“The girls just want to get their reward for all the hard work they've put in over the last couple of seasons and top it off with a trophy.
“We've had, touch wood, a really good season - there's nothing on the mantlepiece yet but it's still in our hands. We have five league games to go and it's in our hands.”
It has potential to be a very successful season for Steyning and whilst Danny is keen for the personal achievement, he wants this for his players.
“We got to the first round of The FA Cup proper this year for the first time in the club's history which was a fantastic achievement so all in all it's been a great year.
“As a club it would be a massive statement for us to win it. From a coaching perspective, you've always got it in your mind how you want your team to play but you need your players to buy into and I'm lucky that I've got that.
“So, it would be great for me personally but for them, if they were to go onto win it, it would be fantastic because they have bought into what we want to do and they've really stuck with it.”
As a County FA we run more Women & Girls competitions than ever before, and Danny is really happy to be apart of it.
“The growth of the women and girls’ game has been fantastic and we're still fighting a battle to a degree but as coaches we're delighted with where it has gone.
“I still have arguments with people about it, but I know women can be just as good technical footballers as men. I think that's starting to come to fruition now - we were very keen on developing youth teams at Steyning and we have a place now where girls don't have to feel uncomfortable to play football.
“I think the next five or ten years in the female game is going to be incredible. We're now picking up female players a lot earlier at 7,8,9 instead of them coming in a lot later.”
Lastly he spoke of what he will say to his team ahead of the final: “I think we're a good passing team - we talk about the right way to play football, there is no right way but I think we are a technically very good side.
“In that sense my team talk will be easy it's just a case of go and play your football, relax, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Eastbourne United manager, Philip Hawkins is as competitive as they come with his team and at the start of the season the message was clear.
“The girls have been working really hard in training - we're all really excited for the game, we have a game at the weekend first but looking forward to the big one.
“It was a goal we set out at the start of the season that we wanted to compete in all competitions and be in with a shout for the league.
“The league has gone away from us now but to get to two cup finals and achieve as high as possible in the league will be a really good season for us.
“It's the first cup final for a lot of the girls and the ones that have played in one it's been a while since they did. We want to win it and they'll give it everything they've got.”
Results against Steyning haven’t gone Eastbourne’s way but Philip believes they have what it takes.
“We've lost to Steyning twice this year - one was a close game the other one not so much but we know each other well and it has the potential to be a really good cup final.
“They'll be nervous because there's a pressure on winning and they want to win. They've put themselves in a good position to get not one but two winners medals this season and I'm sure they will step up to it.”
Lastly, he told us of his journey with the club and what’s next for them: “This is my fourth or fifth year with Eastbourne and it's been tough. We took a voluntary relegation a couple of seasons ago just to start again really and it's made us stronger as a group.
“We've got the two cup finals obviously then we've applied for promotion. We aren't saying we'd go and win that league, but I think we'd compete compared to other seasons where we struggled.”
Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£6.00 Adult (17+)
£4.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Women's Challenge Trophy please contact:
T: 01903 753547