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Great test for us - Louise
 Women's Football News 5 Dec 2008
Great test for us - Louise - 5 Dec 2008 - Women's Football NewsLouise Cafferkey is aiming to crown her career with Preston North End with an appearance in a major Cup Final as they take on Doncaster Rovers Belles in the semi finals of the Premier League Cup at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday.
The stalwart midfielder has been with the club for a remarkable 21 years, from a very young age, and has played an important part in Preston's rise from Regional League football to the Northern Division in a short space of time. "It's a great test for us against one of the best teams in the country," Louise told Women's Soccer Scene. "It's the biggest game the club has had since we changed our name to Preston North End and we are all looking forward to it."
For Louise, who is the club's vice-captain, this will be the second time she has played in the semi finals of a national competition. "Under our old name of Preston Rangers, we reached the semi finals of the F.A.Women's Cup back in 1991," she recalls. "It was back in the days when women's football was shown every week on Channel 4. We played Friends of Fulham at The Den and although we lost 3-0 on the day, it was an unbelievable experience and I am expecting a similar situation on Sunday."
The cup run is more impressive as Preston started off in the Preliminary Round and have battled through each stage of the competition. "We started off with a good win against Newcastle and then got past Curzon Ashton and Brighton," says Louise. "In the quarter finals, we had a great win at Portsmouth - it was a long way to travel and they are very strong at home, Portsmouth were a very good side and difficult to play against.
"We have come across good opposition on the way to the semi finals but the team have applied themselves well. Our main concern of course is to get points in the league but we will go and believe that we can get to the Final and enjoy the experience. It will be interesting to see how far away we are from the level that Doncaster play at as that is where we want to get to.
"We have got a young squad but some of the players have top flight experience, and anyone is a potential match winner for us. We are pulling through as a team and a squad and that's what has got us there, and anything can happen on the day. The occasion will be big and we will be as professional as we can in our approach."
Preston's run to the semi finals has belied their league form so far this season as they have been in the bottom half of the Northern Division table. "We have picked up form recently and have been unbeaten in five games," she says, "a bit of confidence certainly helps. The cup run has taken the focus off the league as it means we can relax and express ourselves in each game."
The match will be the second in charge for newly appointed Preston manager Chris Stammers. "Chris was appointed a couple of weeks ago, "adds Louise. "It is a new change for the club with fresh blood in charge, hopefully he can take us forward."
However the focus is on the immediate future and the big match on Sunday. "It would be a massive thing for the club if we could pull it off," Louise admits. "That is what you play football for, to play the best teams in big games. If we get there it would be our biggest achievement, if we beat Doncaster and get Arsenal in the Final - well, it doesn't get any better than that!"
On a personal level, Louise is savouring her second chance to reach a major final after going close 17 years ago. Whilst keen to point out that her career is nowhere near to its end, she admits: "To win on Sunday would be the pinnacle of my career and the icing on the cake. You still aspire to play against the best, no matter how long you have to wait, it's going to be difficult (against Doncaster) but we will give it everything we have got."

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