It should have been an all-London derby between Chelsea Women and West Ham United, says Blues manager Emma Hayes… but we are where we are, and Man City will face the Hammers at Wembley in the SSE Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, writes Jane Grove.
Only a freak own goal by Magda Eriksson in stoppage time in the semi-final at City’s Academy stadium allowed a tiring, and second best, City side through against Chelsea.
But now Chelsea can only focus on their two remaining league fixtures, while Wembley fills with fans of the Irons and the Sky Blues at 5.30pm… with children gaining free entry.
To mark the occasion, the FA has released an eye-catching video on YouTube, celebrating the football journeys of City’s Nikita Parris and United’s Rosie Kmita.
Narrated by the players, and featuring projected images of the players beamed on to the walls of Wembley Way, the video follows their journeys from playing football in their hometowns to playing at the national stadium.
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuhRjmlEX98
On playing at Wembley, Parris said: “Growing up, I used to play football in my mum’s garden before I joined my neighbour’s U9s team. It’s surreal to think of those memories, and to now be playing at Wembley. When I walk out on to the pitch I will take in the whole atmosphere – it’s one of the biggest moments of my career and I’ll cherish the memory for the rest of my life.”
Kmita, appearing at Wembley for the first time, said: “It’s been an incredible journey, getting here. My dad was definitely the reason I play football. He would always take me and my sister to the park to play. We’d go there and practise for hours, just doing what we loved and kicking the ball about. To be at Wembley, in front of thousands of fans, is something every football fan dreams of. I never thought I’d be experiencing moments like this.”
Tickets for the game are £15 for adults. Kids go free. Visit www.TheFA.com/tickets