Girls Under-14s HERO

Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-14s) Preview

Words by Rumyana Penzova
Lewes Juniors vs. Lewes

The final of the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup (Under-14s) is due to take place on Sunday 30 April 2023 between Lewes Juniors and Lewes.

Lewes Juniors vs. Lewes
Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-14s)
Date: Sunday 30 April 2023
Kick-off: 10:30am
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Ahead of the Lewes derby that awaits, we spoke with both managers to hear their thoughts on what is set to be a very entertaining game.

Lewes Juniors manager Stuart Bliss took over the team six years ago and has shared a lot of memorable moments with his team, though a County Cup is always something special in his view.

“The girls understand that the County Cup is a main competition, and one that you know everyone wants to get to the final of,” he said, “so to actually get there is really exciting.”

“We have had a really tricky run to the final, so I am really proud of the girls.”

Lewes Juniors started their cup run in the quarter-finals against Hollingbury Hawks. The Lewes girls came on top via a penalty shootout thriller, which Bliss described as “really, really exciting.”

“Hollingbury are a side we know well, they're always a really hard team to face, and they're currently second in the in the Premier Division. So, to beat them was a great result for the girls,” Bliss said.

Lewes Juniors then faced Southwater in the semi-finals, who had lost only one game all season. As such, it took a significant effort from Bliss’ team to come out 1-0 winners after a highly competitive game. 

Juniors have already won the Division One title this season, so after a secured league they will be after a County Cup trophy.

“We know that it's going to be a really, really tough game, but I think it's one that they always try their best in,” said Bliss.

“They always try hard, so I think it's about enjoying the occasion and doing their best,” he concluded.

Lewes under-14s manager Emily Linscer is also looking forward to the occasion of a cup final.

She has led her team only since the start of this season and is already in a County Cup Final with them.

“Our journey through the cup so far has been great, it has been good for the girls to face local teams; and with some of our players being cup tied others have stepped up in positions they don’t normally play and done extremely well,” Linscer shared.

The Lewes coach added: “To reach a final this year I think sums up what a strong year we have had as a team. 

“With the hard work they have all put in as a collective it would be fantastic to end the season on a high. All our girls are very competitive, so when it comes to cup games and finals they are always up for the occasion. It’s been the hot topic at training for a few weeks now.”

While in charge of Lewes, Linscer has never faced fellow Lewes team Lewes Juniors, but she is assured they will put up a strong fight. 

“Any team to reach the final has played well in previous rounds to get there. We will play our game to the best of our abilities as we have done in all games this season,” she said.

In terms of league campaign, Lewes came second to a strong Millwall side, in the Junior Premier League, however Linscer says having faced some really impressive teams throughout the season it has been particularly good for the girls.

Linscar was also keen to highlight the strong support the team have had from the parents across this season.

“Our parents have been nothing but supportive of the girls this year and it’s such a pleasure to be in such a positive environment, and our girls definitely benefit from that. 

“I have no doubt they will continue this in our last games of the year, especially for a big final. Our team could not have had these successes this season without their continuous support - thank you to everyone!”

Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):

£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (66+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme

For further details about the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup (Under-14s) please contact:

T: 01903 753547

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