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Birmingham City captain Laura Bassett has already played in some big matches during her short career to date but on Sunday the 20-year-old will be looking to lead her side into its first F.A.Women's Cup Final. The Blues have reached the last four for the first time and they will take on league leaders Charlton Athletic at Solihull Borough FC.
"I've been looking forward to the game since we beat Tranmere in the quarter finals," Laura told Women's Soccer Scene. "Preparations have been good so far, we're hoping to maintain it until the game and hopefully it will be a good occasion for us."
The England midfielder captained Birmingham to the Premier League Cup Final two years ago when they were a Northern Division club, and they hit the headlines when they caused a shock in the semi finals by beating Doncaster Belles 4-3. "Hopefully, we've learnt from the Doncaster game and we can come through it this time," says Laura.
The two meetings between the clubs in the league this season have been close games, with Charlton narrowly winning on the opening day and the return finishing at 1-1, one of only two occasions when Charlton have dropped league points. Laura feels that the Blues can take a lot from those matches: ""We can take confidence from the games with Charlton - we were unlucky not to get a point in the first game and we drew with them last time, so we'll be going into the game looking to get a result."
The two clubs met in the Cup last year at the quarter final stage, and it was Charlton who won 3-1 on their way to the Final. "It's definitely a chance to avenge our defeat last year. We don't forget things like that, so hopefully we can take the game to them."
In recent years, semi finals have attracted good attendances and it is hoped that a large crowd will turn up at the game. "I've never played at Solihull before so I don't know what it's like, but we're hoping to get a good crowd and it should be a good atmosphere. There's been a lot of interest in the local media and the game has been getting a lot of attention," says Laura.
But in advance of the game, is it hard not to think about the reward that is on offer? "Everyone thinks about what might happen if they win - they'd be lying if they didn't - but you've got to concentrate on the next game and that's what we are doing," she admits.
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