Army is final cup challenge

Jodie Botterill rounds the Army FA goalkeeper the last time the sides met at Springfield Stadium Picture: JON GUEGAN (37491705)

JERSEY go into their final Southern Counties Women’s Cup game tonight full of confidence in the midst of their better-than-expected showing in the competition.

They face Army FA at Springfield hoping to end their campaign on a high. Unfortunately, winning overall is beyond them now, but a 1-1-1 record marks progress for the ladies in red. When they last played in the cup in 2019-2020 they were smashed 6-0 and 8-1 by Kent FA and Sussex FA respectively. But this season they have come away with a 0-0 draw with Middlesex FA, a 2-1 win over Essex FA and, in their last outing, a 1-0 defeat to Kent which they felt they should have won.

Jersey are competing against some of the best players in other counties where they may not have before and captain Libby Barnett puts down their improvement to one thing, “organisation”.

“The way that Chad [Morris], Ciara [Giles], Harry [Walker] and Fi [MacKinnon-Fox] have invested not just their time, but their energy, their motivation to make us a better squad,” she said.

“That doesn’t happen by luck. We’ve really invested in the way that we prepare for games and a consistent way of how we play.

The way that we approach training sessions, the way that we approach games is the same, constantly driving this higher level of standard. We’re happy at the level and it’s now just ensuring that it’s consistent.

“When we have new members joining the squad, particularly our younger players, it’s not necessarily an alien environment to them because we drive similar consistencies and standards through the [JFA] player development centre. So it’s just ensuring an easy transition into the senior game. And I’d say now we’re starting to reap the rewards.

“We’ve entered this cup competition before and haven’t competed. We’ve been there and we’ve absolutely played our best and did our best for the badge but, at this level, we just weren’t quite competitive enough. Whereas we’ve entered this year and we’ve reached new heights as a squad.

“It’s a nice feeling to be able to not only compete but challenge and win.”

Barnett made the point that the majority of the squad are 21 and younger, with plenty of teenage talent coming to the fore, such as Hannah Lynam and Ella Docherty. It all points to a rosy future for the women’s team.

“We’ve got some really great young players. It’s really exciting and it’s great to be able to welcome these young girls into the squad and for them just to fit in seamlessly,” added the captain.

“Everyone is excited to host the Army at Springfield, hopefully in front of a big home crowd, which we know has the opportunity to make a difference in games. We love playing in Springfield. We love playing in front of home support, so we’re excited to do that tonight.”

Jersey FA Women to face Army FA: Sara Luce, Ana Malta, Tiffany Sundby, Poppy Benest, Sophie Botterill, Dani Da Silva, Sofia Rodrigues, Libby Barnett, Holly Muirhead, Leah Morris, Lucy Even, Ella Docherty, Emily Le Page, Sam Silva, Hannah Lynam, Jodie Botterill.

Southern Counties Competition – Women


Middlesex 3 2 1 0 6 1 5 7

Jersey 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4

Essex 2 1 0 1 6 2 4 3

Army 3 1 0 2 8 11 -3 3

Kent 3 1 0 2 5 11 -6 3

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