Shropshire Star

Hungry Wolves Women are hunting another taste of Cup glory

Dan McNamara is ready to harness the fighting spirit in his Wolves Women team as they take on a 'David and Goliath' FA Cup challenge against Brighton.


The Super League side will travel to Telford in the fifth round of the competition, with tier three Wolves ready to battle.

McNamara's side showed that character in the fourth round when they came back from 1-0 down to beat Championship side Reading with an 88th minute winner.

And the head coach is ready to take advantage of his side's spirit in their mammoth task against the Seagulls.

"Who knows what can happen – we've seen it with Maidstone and George Elokobi," McNamara said.

"We won't be going into the game to get beat, we'll be going in there to try and cause a few problems. Both senior teams are playing Brighton at home in the fifth round of the FA Cup, it could be an omen!

"Going into this game will be the same as the Reading one. One of the comments from a Reading supporters' group was 'this will be a formality', and that's the way some people will see it.

"We have to go out and give a really good account of ourselves and make sure we are representing the city. It's a working class city. You can get beat in games of football but still represent people in right way with the right work ethic, and people will follow you. That's all I'll ask for against Brighton.

"It will be a really tough ask and it's important the players, staff and fans know where we're at. This is a David and Goliath type of event, where Wolves shouldn't compete in any aspect of the game.

"It's important the supporters understand that and try help us out in the game. Make it as hostile as you can at the New Bucks Head because it's out of Brighton's comfort zone and hopefully we can take advantage of that.

"It gives our girls a chance to play in front of a big crowd again and see Super League football in the area, which is huge for the next generation of female players."

After several years of success and near misses with promotion, Wolves have struggled to reach the same level in the National League Northern Premier Division this season.

But the head coach is eager to remind his players of the feats they have achieved, as they search for another cup upset.

"Sometimes when the league season doesn't the way you want it to, you lose sight of the successes that we have had, and one of those is the fifth round of the FA Cup," McNamara added.

"It's a huge feat for a tier three team to be in the last 16. We have to make sure we don't lose sight of our successes. It's important that we focus on what is ahead of us.

"It feels like it will be a massive occasion again. These are the kind of things that bring people together. You don't necessarily remember the medals when your career is finished, it's the memories and the things you can relate to.

"The game with West Ham last season was one of them and this year we've managed to go one further, and now Brighton will be one of them.

"The challenge will be the distance the game has come in 12 months. I watched Brighton against Chelsea and they're a good side with Spanish internationals.

"We have to embrace it and thrive off what will be another opportunity to go and express ourselves and play without fear and pressure."

Although it is a long way off, Wolves also have a trip to Wembley in their sights.

It is a worrying thought for McNamara and the boss instead wants to focus on what his side have already achieved as they enter the Brighton game with a no fear approach.

He said: "Someone said to me the other day, 'do you realise, if you get past Brighton you're two games from Wembley' – and it's a daunting thought!

"It's a long way off, but even to say we're three games away from Wembley is a huge achievement for tier three Wolves.

"We're facing a difficult year in difficult circumstances, but it shows what we have in the dressing room and what the club have helped us do over the last few years. Six years ago we were nowhere near this stage, it's incredible."