Huddersfield Town Women will face former Super League side Birmingham City in the third round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup and chair Alison Bamforth says there is big prize money up for grabs if the Terriers can overturn the odds.
Last year Town made it to the 4th round of the FA Cup but were beaten by Everton at the John Smith’s Stadium. With the FA pumping more finances into the women’s game year on year, Town could be in for a greater slice of the cake if they can beat the Blues at St Andrews on Sunday December 11 (1.00).
Alison said: “For an amateur club like us the FA Cup is the only competition that we participate in that offers prize money.
“We gladly welcomed the FA announcement in March confirming new investment in the competition which has enabled the prize fund to be significantly increased this season.
“Having said that the £25k winner’s prize still comes nowhere near the £1.8 million on offer to the winner of the men’s competition. However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
“To give an idea of how much of a difference the increase in prize money means to a club like Huddersfield Town Women, last season we lost in the 4th round, and collected just over £3,000. This year if we were to cause an upset and win our 3rd round tie, we would walk away with £10,000 from just that one match.”
Gallery of images from Huddersfield Town Women v Everton by: SEAN DOYLE
The Town Women have got to this stage of the competition so far by beating the Doncaster Rovers Belles 3-0 in the first round and Durham Cestria in the second round also 3-0, Laura Elford and Britt Sanderson grabbing the goals in that game.
After being relegated out of England’s top flight Birmingham City are looking to bounce straight back and currently sit 5th in the Championship. They won the FA Cup in 2012 and were runners-up in 2017.
Town are used to facing opposition from higher divisions in this tournament having faced West Ham, Brighton and Everton in recent years.
There will be no fear from the players and Alison said: “We’ve done really well in the cup in recent years. In 2018-19 we beat higher ranked Charlton on penalties to reach the 5th round, then we reached the 5th round again in the strange Covid-hit behind-closed-doors season of 2020-21.
“Last season we played Everton in the 4th round at the John Smith’s Stadium in front of a record crowd. We dare to dream of another 4th round tie, and so we have already asked if the John Smith’s Stadium would be available for ‘when’ (not if!) we get through.
“The Vitality Women’s FA Cup is incredibly important to Huddersfield Town Women FC for a few reasons. First and foremost, the prestige and magic that goes with the name of the competition is legendary.
“What other competition inspires fans to get their cardboard and tin foil out and make an arts and craft project replica trophy, hoping that that extra bit of support will lead to a bit of cup magic for their club?
“Leading on from this, the competition also gives us the opportunity to play opposition we don’t meet in the league, including teams from higher divisions.
“In recent years we’ve taken on Women’s Super League teams West Ham, Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton. Each time we play a team of that calibre we have played better and better football, and have got closer to a giant-killing cup upset.
“We know Birmingham City will be tough opposition; they were relegated from the Women’s Super League last season, and are currently sitting 5th in the Championship. But, we’re absolutely up for the challenge.”