On Monday, Everton veteran Becky Easton will look to finally break her duck in The FA Women’s Cup Final.
In two spells at Everton and stints at Doncaster Rovers Belles and Liverpool Easton has appeared in seven domestic Finals and has been on the winning side just once, in the Premier League Cup in 2008 when the Toffees defeated Arsenal 1-0 at Brisbane Road.
Easton has also lifted The FA Women’s Premier League title in 1998, but the one domestic trophy still to allude her is The FA Women’s Cup and Monday represents her fifth attempt for glory.
“If we were to win this FA Cup Final it would be one of the highlights of my career,” admitted Easton. “I’ve been trying for years and years and haven’t been able to do it before. It would obviously be great for the club, because we haven’t won it as ‘Everton’, but on a personal note it would just be absolutely fantastic.
“There’s no other day like FA Cup Final day,” she continued. “Everybody wants to win The FA Cup. It’s what everyone dreams of doing. Because it’s the biggest single-day event in the women’s calendar and because I haven’t won it, having played in so many Finals, it would be a massive thing for me to win it.”
As she prepares to appear in her eighth major Final in total and with over two decades of experience to call upon, Easton knows she has an important role to play at The City Ground, both during the game and before kick-off, helping the younger players to prepare for such a high profile match.
“Mo [Marley, the Everton Ladies manager] obviously takes the lead day-to-day, but because The FA Women’s Cup Final is such a big day and such a big occasion, I think it helps to have older players around, like myself, to help the youngsters out. If they need someone to talk to before the game, and if they need advice during the game then they know I’m there.”
Easton has seen a lot of players come and go over the years, at both Arsenal and Everton, and she believes the Gunners losing Kelly Smith, Katie Chapman, Alex Scott and Karen Carney allied to the quality of player Everton are beginning to bring through means The Final will be a very evenly matched affair.
“They’ve lost players who are very difficult to replace, but they’ve got a lot of good players coming through like Kim Little and Gemma Davison. Where they have lost a few big players, I think we have strengthened and we are now on more of a level playing field, we just need to go out and prove that on the big occasion.
“The League game we had against them recently was quite a close game and we had enough chances to have beaten them, we just weren’t clinical enough. But we took a lot of positives from that game. We know Arsenal are beatable and in this Cup Final we’ve got a great chance.
“It’s probably the strongest squad we’ve had since I’ve been at the club,” Easton concluded. “We’ve now got quality players on the bench, where we haven’t really had that in the past. We have always had a good starting eleven, but this is the first time we have had 15 or 16 very good players who are all worthy of a place in the first eleven. At the moment, the competition for places is the best it has ever been.”
(Source: By Glenn Lavery – fa.com)