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Women's Football News
Arsenal striker Lianne Sanderson is only in her second full season of senior women's football but the 16-year-old is quickly establishing herself as one of the top young forwards in the country. On Sunday she is set to feature in her first F.A.Women's Cup semi final when the Gunners take on Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.
"I can't wait for it," Lianne told Women's Soccer Scene. "At my age, to be playing for the Arsenal first team is a great honour. I'm hoping for a starting place but even to be in the squad is great."
Whilst Charlton Athletic and Fulham have been the front runners in the National Division virtually all season, Arsenal have hung around just behind them with a number of games in hand. The Gunners are still winning and remain in the hunt for the two biggest trophies and Lianne eagerly stresses this fact. "We're in the hunt for both," she says. "If results swing our way, we've got the ability to be able to win the double, even, this year. We've got a big schedule ahead of us but I'm sure that if we play as well as have been lately, we'll do well."
The game is set to attract a large crowd, as it did three years ago when over 3,000 watched Arsenal beat Rovers 3-0 at the same stage. The Gunners will start off as firm favourites but Lianne accepts that they will need to be at their best if they are to progress: "No semi finals are easy - both teams are going to be up for a battle but we're ready for it. We're hoping to bring a few supporters ourselves, a few coachloads, so it should be a good atmosphere."
The two teams met recently with Arsenal winning 3-1 but their win was overshadowed by a knee ligament injury suffered by defender Yvonne Tracy in an accidental collision. Leanne Champ is also injured ahead of the game and Lianne has nothing but sympathy for them. "Yvonne and Leanne are major players in our team, and Yvonne being out for such a long time is a big blow."
Lianne's impressive performances for her club have been rewarded with her being selected for the England under-17s and she looks set for a big future in the game. She is keeping her feet firmly on the floor though, modestly admitting: "It's been a great honour when I've played for the England under-17s and I'm hoping to do so again in March. It's the best thing ever for me, along with playing for Arsenal."
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