This Saturday Glentoran Women travel to Windsor Park to face Linfield Ladies in the Electric Ireland Women's Irish Cup Final
This is our first Cup Final since 2012. A similar result will do the trick this time as on that occasion the team ran out 3-2 winners over Crusaders Strikers at Solitude with a team containing current players Kelly Bailie, Nadene Caldwell, Demi Vance, captain Jess Foy and the current First Team Coach Gail Redmond.
We are the record cup winners with 6 wins in 2006, 07, 08, 09 10 and 12. Kelly Bailie has played in all of those cup wins. No great surprise for a player currently in her benefit season after spending a remarkable 22 YEARS with the team in its incarnations!
Our League games with Linfield have been close games – 4-3 and 1-2 wins for Linfield – 10 goals scored in 2 games and 1 goal between the teams each game. Both teams are in good runs of winning form with Linfield looking for a League and cup double and we’re looking to win it for the 7th time.
Kelly, Nadene, Demi and Yasmin have all played at the National Stadium before whereas the remainder of squad are playing there for the first time as it doesn’t serve as Linfield Ladies’ home venue. Manager Billy Clarke and Coach Gail Redmond will be looking to our experienced players like Kelly, Jess, Demi, Nadene and Makayla Mulholland to guide our younger players through the early stages of the match until we get settled into the game.
Apart from a first-round bye the team certainly had to do it the hard way with wins over strong Cliftonville and Crusaders teams and will need to be at their very best on Saturday night when they take on the League Champions elect. However, they have recently made a rapid climb to second place in the table with 5 league wins on the bounce against Derry City, Sion Swifts, Cliftonville, Crusaders and Portadown plus their emphatic 5-1 win over the Reds in the semi-final of the cup. In fact, they have lost just one of their last eleven games so go into this big one in a very positive frame of mind.
How we qualified:
2nd Round – v East Belfast bye they couldn’t field a team
Quarter Final – v Crusaders – won 6 – 1
Semi Final – v Cliftonville – won 5 -1
Billy Clarke said on Wednesday evening: “We have recently promoted Aimee-Lee Peachey, Danielle Maxwell and Joely Andrews into the squad from the u17 team. All three have made telling contributions to or league and cup runs and have bright futures as 1st team players. Another graduate from our u17s, Katie Stanfield made her debut as a sub in the recent win against Derry City. There are more in the pipe line for next season.
Our goalkeeper Ashleigh McKinnon has been in terrific form since coming back into team. This has been rewarded with a call up to Senior Women’s International training for the recent dual World Cup International games.
We’ve tried to keep this week as normal as possible for the players with training sessions at normal times but unfortunately had our match v Cliftonville on Wed night postponed so on the Brightside there we didn’t need to risk picking up any injuries before Saturday. Currently everyone is fit and looking forward to Saturday night and hoping we can give our supporters something to cheer about.”
Glentoran Squad: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Yasmin White 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey 6. Nadene Caldwell 7. Makyla Mulholland 8. Demi Vance 9. Rachel Rogan
10. Ali McMaster 11. Cleo Taggart 12. Caragh Milligan 14. Jenna McKearney
17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 20. Suzanne Baxter 21. Kelly Bailie
23. Sarah Gamble
Reaching this final is a fantastic achievement by this great squad and their management so they deserve the backing of as many Glentoran supporters as possible. So, have your tea after the first team men’s home match v Institute on Saturday and get over to South Belfast.
Le Jeu Avant Tout