Oxford United Women kick off their FA Women's Cup campaign at Sunderland.
The season starts now for Oxford United’s women, as they kick off their FA Women’s Cup campaign with a third-round trip to fellow WSL 2 side Sunderland on Sunday. United’s debut season in the FA Women’s Super League doesn’t kick off until April, but the side will get an early taste of life at the top as they take on a Sunderland side who are tipped to challenge for promotion to the top flight this season after winning the Women’s Premier League last year.
Last season the U’s enjoyed a remarkable run in the Cup, defeating Women’s Premier League sides Charlton Athletic and Newcastle United and playing in front of more than 1,000 fans at the Kassam Stadium. That’s something new manager Les Taylor, who takes charge of the side for the first time this weekend, would love to replicate this season, starting on Sunday.
He said: “It’ll be a great game, it’s the FA Cup, it’s all about the result. We’ve got every possibility of going there and getting a result, so I’m really looking forward to it. Sunderland are one of the better sides, they’ve got good players there. It’ll be difficult for us but we’ll have a good go, like in any game.
“It’s my neck of the woods. I’m from North Shields, I’m a Newcastle fan, so I’m so desperate to get a good result at Sunderland. It’s a great place to go to, there’s a lot of football fanatics up there, so it’ll be a good atmosphere for the ladies to start their season.
“I think everybody’s got to remember that our ladies have done exceptionally well over the last four or five years and they’ve gone on and got successive promotions, so they’re on an upward spiral. I think we might catch a few teams by surprise and they might not expect what we can offer.”
Kick-off is at 1pm on Sunday at the Hetton Centre, Hetton-le-Hole and you can follow all the action via the Yellow Wall.