Women’s FA Cup: Leeds team hope to mastermind first round giant-killing

It’s a real-life footballing fairy tale which boasts romance and dreams of giant-killing glory.
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Leeds Modernians Women - the only seventh tier Northern women’s team left in the Women’s FA Cup - are looking to continue the club’s magical journey in the prestigious competition this weekend.

The West Riding Premier side have a big test on their hands when they host Blackburn side Darwen Women, who sit two tiers above in the football pyramid, on Sunday. (November 12)

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Leeds Mods made it to the first-round proper for the first time after wins against Poppleton, Retford and a thrilling penalty shootout win at Birtley Town after a 3-3 draw last month.

Leeds Modernians Women.Leeds Modernians Women.
Leeds Modernians Women.

The Mods, based on Cookridge Lane, are also full of confidence after remaining unbeaten this year in all competitions this season.

Captain and striker Tanya Fozzard is currently leading the chasing pack in top goal scorers vying for the Women’s FA Cup top scorer Golden Ball award.

She is currentrly on 10 goals and is one of two players left in the competition within the leaderboard. With Leeds still in the competition, Tanya has a chance to sweep past the current top scorer this weekend.

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Tanya said: “The girls are in high spirits, working really hard and we’re looking forward to going into the FA Cup game with a positive mentality. Our run so far in the competition has built confidence and we’re pleased with the performances. We want to be consistent, that’s where we need to benchmark ourselves at this moment in time.”

Captain fantastic Tanya Fozzard.Captain fantastic Tanya Fozzard.
Captain fantastic Tanya Fozzard.

Tanya added: “I’m really pleased with how we are progressing as a squad with a mixture of youth and experience and we’re really looking forward to this big FA Cup match.”

This season the winner of the Women’s FA Cup will take home a six-figure sum with Leeds Mods also set to benefit from an increase in prize money.

Two seasons ago, a run through the three qualifying rounds to the first round would bring just £1,450 for winning three games, while last season and this it brings grassroots and amateur clubs as far down as Tiers 6 and 7 a hefty £8,800, more than some club’s annual budgets.

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A win in the first round would take that tally up to £14,800, while even defeat guarantees an overall intake of £10,300, with every first-round loser getting £1,500 on top of what they’ve earned so far.

Leeds Mods manager Mark Womersley said: “We have had an excellent run in the cup so far. Darwen is going to be a tough test but at the end of the day it is one game and anything can happen in a cup game, so we’ve just go to make sure we concentrate on ourselves and make sure we put in a performance we can be proud of.

“It’s fantastic to see the increased prize money filter down into the grassroots game – and we want to be able to make a lasting legacy with our run in the cup this year.

“The FA Cup is the biggest competition in the women’s game. It is something that every player dreams of, or should dream of, I’m really looking forward to it, the players are up for it and we’ll see how far we can go.”

Leeds Modernians Women kick-off against Darwen Women on Sunday, November 12, at 1pm.

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