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Women’s FA Cup final: Heather O’Reilly says “We want to win to honour the traditions of Arsenal”

PUBLISHED: 11:56 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:06 04 May 2018

Arsenal star Heather O'Reilly has spoken exclusively to the Islington Gazette. Credit: ARSENAL FC

Arsenal star Heather O'Reilly has spoken exclusively to the Islington Gazette. Credit: ARSENAL FC

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Arsenal midfielder Heather O’Reilly may have earned a barely credible 231 caps for the US spanning a trophy-laden 14 years - including three Olympic gold medals and a World Cup - but she is still excited about appearing at Wembley on Saturday in the Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Arsenal Ladies' Heather O'Reilly (left) and Manchester City Women's Demi Stokes battle for the ball during the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.Arsenal Ladies' Heather O'Reilly (left) and Manchester City Women's Demi Stokes battle for the ball during the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.

In a repeat of the 2016 showpiece finale, the personable 33-year-old - who has been at the North London giants for 18 months – is gearing up to face the West Londoners.

Emma Hayes’ side are competing for a possible double as they also lead the Women’s Super League 1 table by three points from Manchester City, albeit having played a game more.

However O’Reilly and Arsenal Women, led by Australian Joe Montemurro stand in their way.

Speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette at the Arsenal Hub she previewed the eagerly-awaited clash, saying: “We are training hard for the cup final. Chelsea are a great side but we’re looking forward to the day at Wembley. We feel like we’ve grown as a team.

Arsenal Women celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.Arsenal Women celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.

“Hopefully we’ll put on a good performance and get the job done and hopefully come home with some silverware for everyone.

“We want to win for each other and for Arsenal and our amazing supporters

“We are a community here at Arsenal and we want to do it for all the teams that are affiliated with us.

“I know a big part of Arsenal’s mission is to engage with the community, to bring pride to our community and we’ll be doing our best to do that come the cup final.

Arsenal Women celebrate winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.Arsenal Women celebrate winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.

“We take that task very seriously. We’ll be going into the final with a lot of confidence but also a lot of awareness that we have to honour the traditions of Arsenal.”

Arsenal booked their place in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final with an added-time goal from Louise Quinn, securing a 2-1 win over Everton last month.

The 14-time winners took the lead in the first half through Danielle Carter, with Chloe Kelly equalising from the spot for the hosts.

But Quinn nodded home a corner in the closing minutes.

Arsenal Women celebrate winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.Arsenal Women celebrate winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.

O’Reilly added: “To be part of Arsenal is a huge honour for me. I was fortunate to have a very full career in the US.

“But one thing I’ve never done is to be part of a big club like Arsenal. It’s been a real honour for me to be over here and to wear this badge everyday.

“Arsenal Football Club has such a long tradition. It’s really special and it was a huge draw for me everyday.

“To play for this amazing club every day is incredible and I hope we can repay that faith with a trophy [on] Saturday.”

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