The FA Women's Premier League Cup
Second century girl
Stacey Sowden eyes special landmark in tonight’s Final.
Barnet v Nottingham Forest
The FA Women’s Premier League Cup
7.30pm, Thursday 24 March 2011
Adams Park, Wycombe Wanderers FC
Tickets are £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions (under 16s, over 65s)
“It’s my job to score goals.”
This is Stacey Sowden’s understated description of her role within Tracey Kevins' Barnet Ladies side. All forwards are required to score goals, the argument goes. But surely not with the regularity that Sowden has scored them.
Remarkably, coming in tonight’s FA Women's Premier League Cup Final the hotshot is just three goals shy of the 200 mark and Sowden says she would love to reach that milestone en route to glory.
“When I scored my 100th goal that was good enough, but to get my 200th goal would be brilliant, especially because of the amount of work I’ve put in,” she said. “And if it was the winning goal against Forest it would make it even more special.”
After flirting with a career as a goalkeeper when she was younger, Sowden was moved out to midfield when she joined Keynsham Ladies and it was there her goalscoring ability was uncovered.
“I scored 40 goals from the right-wing so the next season I got moved up front and that’s where I’ve played ever since,” was Sowden’s matter-of-fact recollection of how she came to be so prolific. However, despite her exploits in front of goal the Bees No.9 insists she would swap all of her 197 Barnet strikes to date for a Premier League Cup winners’ medal.
“It’s a major domestic Final, the biggest game of my career,” she admitted. “It would be a great time to get my 200th Barnet goal, but I want a winners’ medal more. I just think that, as a striker, it’s my job to score goals. That’s what I’m on the pitch to do.
“Goals are great but medals are what count at the end of your career. We have a few Middlesex Cup medals and we won the Southern Division last season but we’d love to win this competition.”
Barnet are aiming to win The Premier League Cup for the first time under their current guise (they won the competition in 1996 as Wembley), fulfilling a season-long aim. They could add their name to the list of previous winners that includes Arsenal, Everton and Millwall Lionesses. However, Sowden knows the Bees must beat a very good Nottingham Forest side before they can write their names in Premier League Cup history.
“Forest are a very physical side and we know they will be up for it, so we will have to be at our best. We had a difficult 0-0 against them in the League and they have done well this season. And at the end of the day there’s silverware at stake so it will be a really, really tough game, there’s no question about that.
“But at the start of the season our target was to win the Middlesex Cup and The Premier League Cup, because with the eight WSL clubs no longer in it, we felt it was a competition we should at least be in contention for winning.
“Everyone at the club is buzzing about this Final. We can’t wait to get out there and hopefully we can lift the trophy.”