Sussex Girls' Challenge Cup (Under-12s) HERO

Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-12s) Preview

Words by Sophie Munro
Lindfield Juniors vs. Withdean Youth

The final of the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup (Under-12s) is set to be played on Sunday 5 May 2024 between Lindfield Juniors and Withdean Youth.

Lindfield Juniors vs. Withdean Youth
Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-12s)
Date: Sunday 5 May 2024
Kick-off: 10:30am
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Withdean Youth and Lindfield Juniors face off in the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-12s) and for Withdean manager Steve Beach it’s an occasion both he and his team are looking forward to.

“The girls are very excited about reaching the final in their first competitive season,” said Beach.

“The team have been together since we started at Under-10's and to see their progression and development collectively and individually over this time has been amazing, this feels like a fitting achievement.”

In this competition, his side have had an extremely consistent run. Winning games against Seaford Town 5-0, Beach’s side has shown why they deserve to be fighting for this trophy.

“The girls have been so consistent,” said Beach, “the Semi-Final was a great game against our big rivals Lewes Juniors who we defeated the week before in the league which made the game even more challenging.

“I strongly believe in the girl's ability and collective spirit to beat anyone on their day, if they are focused and play to our strengths, I am confident they will deliver a great performance.”

Withdean have scored a total of nine goals across the competition but has this been something Beach has been working on with his team in training?

“Not specifically, the focus is always on how we can become stronger as a team and as an attacking unit,” said Beach.

“This season the goals have been really spread throughout the team which is very pleasing.”

Away from their cup run, Withdean have had a fantastic season in the Sussex County Women and Girls Football League (SCWGFL). The girls have done the impossible and gone undefeated in their League, winning with a total of 40 points.

Beach is keen to praise his side for their achievements this season.

“The girls have had a fantastic season and won the league by going undefeated which I am incredibly proud of,” said Beach.

“Every challenge I have given the team they have risen too and already there have been many great highlights.

“Watching the way they have continued to bond as mates and as a team gives me the most satisfaction, I believe it's one of our biggest strengths.”

With their sights set firmly on the trophy, what does Beach expect from Lindfield in the final?

“I am expecting an extremely tough competitive final and it should be a cracking game!” said Beach.

Lindfield manager Brett Thornton’s side haven’t been with one another for a long time, but they haven’t had to wait long for success.

“I’m so proud of the girls and excited for them! This is only their third season together and their first at 9-a-side, so they’ve done so well,” said Thornton.

“The girls are excited but nervous, that’s for sure!”

Much like Withdean, Lindfield have had a fantastic run in this competition, beating sides such as Worthing United Youth 4-0 in the second round of the competition.

With the goals flying in, does this help Thorton’s side with their confidence in the final?

“The girls have risen to all the challenges in front of them and kept their nerve in the semi-final to win on penalties,” said Thornton.

“The girls and I know anything can happen in the final, but we have some great strikers of the ball so we’re hopeful we can get on the scoresheet against a strong Withdean defence.”

“In training, we like to concentrate on the girl's confidence on the ball, moving it quickly under pressure so we can create chances on a match day.”

In the SCWGFL, Lindfield have faced their fair share of challenges but despite the difficult moments the girls have finished in third with 23 points.

For Thorton, the girls have continued to work as a team and get the results they need.

“The Sussex girls league has some amazing teams and players in the premier division,” said Thornton.

“Fortunately, we are blessed with a great team and some individuals ourselves meaning we can go into every game with confidence of getting a result.

“We’ve had a few losses, but this hasn’t stopped the girls from pushing on and developing as a team.”

Linfield have shown they can win tough games but what does Thorton expect from Withdean?

“Withdean are a great team with some brilliant players we know they have the experience and quality to win,” he said, “the girls know they’re in for a battle but if they all turn up and play the way they know they can anything is possible on the day!”

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)
Official Match Day Programme will be available online

For further details about the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup (Under-12s) please contact:

T: 01903 753547

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