In her latest column, Liverpool Ladies captain Gemma Bonner looks forward to today's Women's FA Cup semi-final clash away at Manchester City.
The squad received a fantastic boost this week with the news that we have made the signings of Jess Clarke and Laura Coombs. Jess is a great signing for us and she is someone I have known for a long time. We grew up together in Leeds, so to have her on my team again is very exciting. Jess is a very direct player with plenty of pace and skill, along with a great willingness to work hard for the team. For us, these are all attributes we want in a player so I’m sure she will be a success for us.
We witnessed first hand last year the quality that she possesses in the games against us, so it goes without saying I am happy to have her on my team rather than play against her again. Although Jess has only been with us a short time she has fitted into the group really well.
Laura was brilliant for us last season and we are more than delighted to have her with us on a permanent basis now. She became a key player for us and I’ve no doubt that she will again be an important player for us this year. Adding these types of players ensures we are continuing to progress as a group.
We now turn all our focus to Monday afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City [at the City Academy Stadium, kick-off 2pm BST]. Everyone is excited for it, we know it is going to be a tough challenge and you never get an easy game against Manchester City, but it’s the semi-final of the FA Cup and a big stage. We have prepared well for this game and we have to take confidence from the results we got against them last year.
If we can carry out the game plan we have worked on then we can be on the right end of a good result. Manchester City have got quality throughout their squad so we know that regardless of who plays, we will be facing a tough side. They are not champions for no reason, we respect that, but we’ve got to look at ourselves and how we perform. We know we have got plenty of quality in our team but we have to bring that to the forefront on Monday.
The one thing I can promise our brilliant supporters is that we will be giving it everything we have got to try and give them a day out to remember at Wembley. I’m sure outside of Liverpool Ladies nobody expects us to beat Manchester City on Monday, but this is cup football and we can’t wait for this game.
Saturday, of course, was a very poignant day for the club as we remembered the 96 who died at Hillsborough. We will never forget what happened that day and the thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Ladies are with the families and everyone affected by Hillsborough. YNWA.