Naz wants Spurs Ladies to make it all the way to Wembley
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 February 2019
©Ying Pan Wu , Wu's Photography, wusphotography.com
The 18-year-old has been a star performer for Karen Hills' team since crossing the north London divide
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies forward Jessica Naz knows how special it feels to be at Wembley on the day of the Women’s FA Cup final.
She was there as part of the Arsenal team, though not in the squad, as Chelsea beat them at the climax of the competition last season.
After crossing the north London divide this summer, she has hopes of reaching the pinnacle of the competition again with her new side.
But it’s going to be tough with the draw pitting them against Manchester City this Sunday, who are top of the FA Women’s Super League, but Naz believes the nature of the tournament means anything could happen.
“The FA Cup is one of the most magical cups,” she said. “Anything can happen, we have seen different teams in different leagues beating the top teams.
“I think we have to go out there with the same mindset we do with other games and implement our game plan to stay strong.
“I was grateful to be part of it last year with Arsenal. It was a good experience to see the crowds and atmosphere being at Wembley.
“It was a great feeling and I would love for that to happen at Spurs. Everyone wants to be playing at Wembley with the best team against the best team.”
Naz, 18, scored against Crystal Palace as Tottenham cruised through to the fifth round with a 3-0 away triumph.
Now they face one of the Europe’s best sides, but they have strong form of their own – which sees them sitting top of the FA Women’s Championship.
Manchester United Women, new to the division this year, are arguably the favourites to finish top, yet Naz believes promotion is a real possibility for her club.
“With the run we have got we are trying to get promotion,” she said. “We will keep fighting because we want to be playing against the top teams in the top league. We will keep going, try to win all our games and go from there.
“It’s going to be close. We focus on one game, try to win and then move on to the next one.”
Naz geared up for round five by appearing at an FA Cup roadshow event held for the SSE Wildcats at a Winchmore Hill Youth FC training session alongside her teammate Lucia Leon.
They were joined by football freestyle champion Liv Cooke for a training session and video filming – taking part in ‘dizzy penalties’ and completing quiz questions.
Naz was impressed by the skills on show and the number of young girls now taking part in the sport across the country.
“They have got some excitement despite it being a cold day they were running around and enjoying themselves,” she said.
“The sport has grown a lot. Back in the day when I was playing I would be the only girl at my primary school who was playing football.
“Now I see so many girls who want to take on the sport and play it. It’s good to see so many girls love the sport and want to play.”
As the energy behind women’s football, SSE’s ambition is to support girls of all ages in England, helping them join in football from grassroots to the elite level. For more information on SSE’s sponsorships and activities visit sse.co.uk