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'A special competition' - Karen on FA Women's Cup

Posted on 9 January 2015  - 10:00

Karen Hills has experienced all the highs and lows of the FA Women's Cup - and she would love Tottenham Hotspur Ladies to follow the same path as they prepare to step into this year's competition on Sunday.

Karen HillsKaren in action against Rachel Yankey in the 2003 FA Women's Cup FinalKaren with the FA Women's Premier League Cup after Charlton beat Arsenal in 2004

During a successful playing career, Karen was part of the Charlton Athletic team that reached the final of the most prestigious trophy in the ladies game four times in five years between 2003-2007.

She picked up a winner's medal against Everton in 2005 but there was plenty of final heartache for the current Spurs Ladies manager as she was beaten in 2003 by Fulham and then lost out to all-conquering Arsenal in 2004 and 2007.

Karen gained some revenge by winning the FA Premier League Cup Final against the Gunners in 2004 but as she explained, there is nothing quite like the FA Women's Cup.

"It's a special competition and I was lucky enough to get to the final four times during my time at Charlton and win it once," said Karen, our Girls and Women's Development Officer.

"That final was at Upton Park against Everton and it was a fantastic experience to win it.

"The profile of the competition continues to grow and grow especially now with the success of the Women's Super League and the England team. The final is always live on BBC as well, so there it's available to a wide audience and it's a big occasion now.

"The competition itself mirrors the FA Cup in the men's game in that it's open to every team and the smaller teams get the chance to pit themselves against the bigger teams. It's a fantastic competition."

Spurs Ladies kick-off this year's campaign at home to Copsewood Coventry at Ware FC on Sunday.

Copsewood are in the same league as Spurs - the FA Women's Premier League South - but the teams have yet to face each other.

As Karen told us earlier in the week , it's the start of a huge spell for the club with key league matches against leaders Brighton and Plymouth to follow before the Ryman Women's Cup semi-final against Gillingham on Thursday, Janauary 29.

All the focus though is on Sunday. "In many ways this round is the most important round," added Karen. "If we manage to win, we go into the draw with the Super League clubs and we'd all love to test ourselves against one of those teams."

The ladies would welcome your support at Ware's Wodson Park on Sunday - 1pm kick-off - directions here...