Amy Fearn to referee SSE Women's FA Cup Final

Tuesday 16 Jun 2015
Amy Fearn will officiate The FA Women's Cup Final at Wembley
Amy Fearn revealed she is still “pinching herself” after being appointed as the referee of The SSE Women's FA Cup Final for the second time.

The Football League official first took charge of the showpiece 11 years ago when Arsenal defeated Charlton Athletic at Loftus Road in front of 12,000 fans.

However, with the Final set to be held at the new Wembley for the first time, Fearn says the Saturday 1 August event will be on a completely different scale.

Speaking to, the Derbyshire County FA referee said: “It’s historically always been that you only get to do it once, but I think the journey the women’s game has been on since the last time I did it, it’s going to be a whole new level.

Chelsea v Notts County

The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final
Saturday 1 August 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

“It’s the icing on the cake really. To be involved in any Final from The FA is fantastic, but to get one at Wembley is a great achievement and something I won’t take for granted. 

"It reflects my hard work and it gives you an extra bit of buzz for it to be held there.”

Fearn continued: “The players have known they were going to be there for a few weeks now since the semi-finals, but I only found out on Sunday so I’m still feeling a little shell-shocked. I keep pinching myself to make sure it is real.

“It was a lovely call to have and it will take a little time to sink in, but I’ll begin my own preparation for it with some summer training and make sure I’m ready to go in August.

“This is the start of my journey now to ensure I’m 100 per cent ready for the day.”

Having seen the success of Wembley hosting the England Women’s team in November, Fearn is hoping the growing popularity of the female game will lead to another full house when Chelsea take on Notts County.

She said: “The whole professionalism of the Women’s game has changed. The players are getting a lot more time to train and are therefore becoming faster and more skilful.

“It’s taken that more professional track and now there are a lot more teams that can compete, instead of just one dominating everything. 

"Teams are providing a lot more competition and that in itself pushes players on in their development and gives them the incentive to improve.

“But it’s not just in England – around the world the standard of women’s football is increasing every year.

“From a spectator’s point of view, the grounds it has been held at in the past would be aiming to attract crowds of maybe a Conference or lower Football League club, so to actually hold it at the national stadium shows just how seriously The FA is in supporting the women’s game.

“There were 45,000 spectators when England Women played Germany last year, so hopefully it will be another fantastic day and occasion and people will want to come down and get involved in the atmosphere. The fact it is the first one at the new Wembley will hopefully give it that special edge.”

Fearn will take charge of her second Cup Final

Fearn will take charge of her second Cup Final

Fearn will be assisted in the showpiece by assistant referees Natalie Aspinall (Lancashire CFA) – who is currently on duty at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada – and Jane Simms (West Riding CFA), with Rebecca Welch (Durham CFA) named as fourth official.

Upon the appointment of the quartet for the match, FA Referees’ Committee Chairman David Elleray said: "I am exceptionally pleased that the first FA Women's Cup Final to be played at Wembley will be controlled by four Women officials. 

"I congratulate Amy, Natalie, Jane and Rebecca on their appointment to what will be an historic occasion.

“As this is the first time that the Women's Cup Final is being played at Wembley, The FA Referees' Committee decided to appoint officials who have officiated in the Final before. 

“This is highly unusual as there is an ‘unwritten rule’ that an official does not act in the same role in any FA Final more than once. 

"But we unanimously agreed that our top Women officials should have the opportunity of officiating at a Wembley final and that it should benefit from being controlled by such a talented and experienced team."

Sue Hough MBE, Chairman of The FA Women's Committee, added her own congratulations. She said: "I am delighted that the Women's Cup Final will take place at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, for the first time.

“It is testament to the development of the women's game and the appointment of four female match officials shows that the increase in both the quality and quantity of female referees is part of this development. 

"Congratulations to Amy, Natalie, Jane and Rebecca on their deserved selection.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer