Tottenham Ladies eye chance to ‘make history’ in Women’s FA Cup
PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 February 2019
©Ying Pan Wu , Wu's Photography, wusphotography.com
Defender Lucia Leon discusses what Sunday’s encounter with Manchester City Women means to the club
Lucia Leon wants to make history in the SSE Women’s FA Cup by helping her club Tottenham Hotspur Ladies make the sixth round for the first time.
The 21-year-old defender is gearing up for fifth round clash with high-flying Manchester City Women this Sunday.
Leon quickly picked up the importance of the historic competition after moving to the club from Spain when she was a teenager.
The Spaniard now wants to make history with her Lilywhites team-mates, with her side securing a comfortable 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in the last round to earn them a home tie against the Citizens.
“I grew up in Spain not knowing much about the FA Cup but as soon as I came here, and everyone used to talk about it being the biggest cup in women’s and men’s football,” Leon said.
“It’s great that everyone has a chance to play in it, from the bottom up to the top division. It’s a special competition.
“The fifth round is the furthest we have every got so if we make it through we will make history for Spurs. We are hoping to get a result against them.”
Victory would be a marker for the Lilywhites, having cemented themselves as one of the top sides in the FA Women’s Championship – the second tier of women’s football.
They are vying with Manchester United for the title as both push for promotion to the FA Women’s Super League.
Leon believes it shows the progress they club has made in recent years, moving through the divisions with the summit of the women’s game now a realistic possibility – especially thanks to some additions this summer.
“Now we have a really strong team and have put so much work into it,” she said. “The team has been together a long time and knows how it wants to play.
“Obviously there’s a few players who have come in. We’ve got Jess Naz who has come in as one of the youngest players in the first team and has made a massive impact with her football and how she plays.
“We’ve got Rianna Dean as well, she’s the top scorer in the league, and Sarah Wiltshire just won player of the month.”
Leon geared up for round five by helping at an SSE FA Cup roadshow event held for the SSE Wildcats at a Winchmore Hill Youth FC training session with her team-mate Jessica Naz.
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.
Leon has noticed an increasing number of girls participating in the sport whenever she does community work with her club.
She added: “It’s important to be a role model to young players. Especially after the World cup where England came back finishing third.
“Since then I have seen how the sport has grown and I think girls want to play football more and get more involved.
“You can see the excitement; the girls came in despite it being freezing cold and raining.
“They were great kids and had so much energy. Hopefully they can make it one day.”
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