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Women's Football News
Pauline Cope has won many honours and England caps during her glittering career but she is full of anticipation for Sunday's Premier League Cup Final against Arsenal at Brentford. The former England goalkeeper will be helping Charlton Athletic defend the trophy they won last season and she told Women's Soccer Scene that she hopes the game will live up to expectations. "I'm really excited about it, it should be a great game," she says. "We haven't played for two weeks which is not ideal preparation but we're ready, and playing Arsenal always gives us a little bit extra.
"Any holders of any Cup want to hold on to their trophy, and we'll do our utmost to do that. Arsenal will want it back and that adds extra spice to the game."
Charlton go into the match as Premier League leaders and are in with a chance of winning three trophies. "We've been at the top for most of the season so we've become used to it," says Pauline. "We have a chance of three trophies again, we blew it last year. We need favours in the league but we can win two Cups - every game for us is a Cup Final for the rest of the season and if we win them all, who knows what might happen."
Another incentive for Charlton on Sunday is to erase the memories of last year's F.A.Women's Cup Final in which they were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal through a Julie Fleeting hat-trick. "We never got close to Julie Fleeting last year," admits Pauline. "She destroyed us that day but we gave her so much room to play. You must win your one-to-one battles on the pitch. We know what we've got to do, we have a game plan and we'll try and stick to that."
Pauline is full of praise for the Charlton defenders in front of her, and particularly for one of her team mates. "The back four is a good unit, it's down to a good understanding and experience which is a good combination. In my opinion Katie Chapman is the best midfield player in the country, a fantastic athlete and good all round player. I played with her at Millwall when she was fourteen and she was special then - she is the final piece in the jigsaw for our team and a big asset to us and England.
Danielle Murphy has done really well this season and has been our most consistent player. Charlton's gain is England's loss, and I think they could do with her experience.
"I'm hoping for a big turnout on Sunday, two of the best teams are playing and we're hoping it is going to be a good advert for women's football, and a showpiece for the game.
"The two teams in the Final are the two teams who are best supported by the men's clubs, and that is no coincidence. At Charlton we get treated just as well as the pros and get first class treatment, especially on the medical side. Charlton have given their women's team as much as they can and we want to win trophies to pay them back."
Photo - Pauline Cope, pictured with the Premier League Cup after last year's Final.
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