Addicks looking forward to Arsenal challenge
Report by Chloe Pizzey
Page last updated at 10:58PM GMT, Friday, 23 March 2018
The Charlton women’s team will be hoping to cause a major upset in the SSE Women’s FA Cup this Sunday, as they prepare to take on 14-time winners Arsenal at Borehamwood FC.
Charlton are the only team outside the FA Women’s Super League, the top two divisions, to make it through to the quarter finals. The last time the pair clashed in this competition was 11 years ago when the Addicks lost 4-1 in the final.
Charlton first team coach James Marrs says the coaching staff will ensure that the squad are tactically prepared for the tough fixture. “We’ll put the girls in the best possible shape that we can,” he said.
“It’s going to be difficult out on the pitch but if we can be organised, it’s the FA Cup – you never know. Wigan beat Manchester City and no one was expecting that so we’ll go there with some belief that we can get a result, and we’ll see how it goes.
“If the girls put a shift in then we do believe we can get a result. It’s going to come down to a bit of luck on the day as well but if you work hard sometimes you create your own luck. We will give it a real go, we’ve got nothing to lose.”
Charlton have fought off Queens Park Rangers, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City to reach the last eight, with attacker Charlotte Gurr netting in every game.
Gurr, a former Arsenal player who scored a hat trick in last weekend’s 5-1 win against Cardiff, said: “It’s always nice to score, it’s nice to assist as well. We know it’s going to be hard work but we’re going to set up really well. We’ve got the right staff to be able to set up into a nice shape to make it hard for them.”
Gurr was named SSE Player of the Round in the fourth round, ahead of players from the Women’s Super League 1, including Arsenal. “The FA Cup is a really great competition to play in, and you want to do your best when you’re playing against the best,” she added.
Arsenal beat fellow WSL sides Yeovil Town 3-0 and Millwall Lionesses 1-0 to reach this stage. Charlton’s assistant coach Josh Oatham believes the passion in this Charlton side can help them achieve a result.
Oatham said: “We will be playing with 100% effort. We hope Arsenal aren’t able to find the rhythm that they play with and we’ll give it a go.”
England under 19 keeper Katie Startup has had outstanding performances for the Addicks so far this season, and is looking forward to the test that Arsenal will bring.
“It’s going to be huge for everyone. It’s not every day you get to the FA Cup quarter final so I think we’ll just go there and give it absolutely everything. It’s going to be a great occasion, everyone’s looking forward to it.”