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Birmingham City will be looking to win the Premier League Reserve Section's League Cup Final for the second year running when they take on Arsenal at the Birmingham FA Headquarters in Ray Hall Lane this Sunday.
Blues midfielder Sinead Butler and striker Hozzanna Parnell were part of the team that beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Final last year and are set to be key players as they take on the Gunners this time around. Both told Women's Soccer Scene ahead of the game that their team have a good chance of double success.
"It should be a competitive game, and I'm looking forward to it," says Hozzanna. "I'm confident we can win it. With the squad that we've got, I think we will do well."
Sinead adds: "I've got very good memories from last year's win but we've not got as many first team players as we did last year so it should be more testing for us. We've a few players with first time experience apart from Hozzanna and myself - Jade Whitfield was in the first team at the beginning of the season and others have played as well."
16-year-old Hozzanna has forced her way into the Birmingham first team squad since Christmas and may well be the club's long term replacement for Eniola Aluko, who left to join Charlton Athletic and is set to face her old team mates in the semi finals of the F.A.Women's Cup the following week. Hozzanna is also hoping to figure in the Blues squad for that match and was on the bench, along with Sinead, for their midweek match against Arsenal.
So how good is the standard at reserve team level? "In terms of passion and team spirit, it's up there with the first team," says Sinead. "Ability wise, there are several levels to go but that's what we're all striving for. We've had a lot of under-16 players coming through this season, which is a good sign for the club."
Hozzanna is also hoping that the game will attract local interest, with Birmingham playing in their home city. "We had to travel for last yea's final and didn't have a lot of people with us, but hopefully this year we'll have some support."
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