Spurs Women v Arsenal Women - Karen and Juan's preview
Sat 16 November 2019, 10:32|Tottenham Hotspur
“Yes, we’ve earned it but now it’s a question of can we go and win it?”
Forward-thinking words indeed from Head Coach Juan Amoros as the time for talk comes to an end and the time for battle approaches for Spurs Women.
Promoted to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this year, we host Arsenal Women at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) in a fixture that has the distinction of being the first ever north London derby to be played at our world-class new home, in addition to being the inaugural meeting of the sides in the top flight of the women’s game.
Our journey to this point has been well-documented in recent weeks and months, while a host of players have spoken about what it means to be involved in this historic fixture in the lead-up to the game.
Now, Head Coaches Juan and Karen Hills have summed everything up with some powerful final words before the big day arrives.
“It’s an honour for us to represent the Club,” said Juan. “We’ve been at this Club for a very long time and for us, it’s something that we’ve always aimed for. People use the word ‘dream’ but with us it’s been through work and more work that we’ve got here. Obviously there have been ups and downs through the years but having this opportunity to wear the badge and defend these colours in that big stadium with all our fans I think is an honour and a privilege. Yes, we’ve earned it but now it’s a question of can we go and win it? That’s how I feel.”
Karen, who took over at the helm in 2007 and has overseen our rise through the leagues, joined by Juan in 2011, added: “For me it’s a big, proud moment. It’s something that we’ve aspired to reach for many, many years and to have the opportunity to take our newly-established team into the new stadium, being the first Head Coaches to take them into a north London derby, it’s an absolute privilege and an honour and something that will stay with us for a very long time. We’re really looking forward and excited to see those girls put the shirt on and go out there, play for us, play for themselves, play for their families, play for the Club and make everyone proud.”
The strength of our rivals cannot be understated. WSL lynchpins and reigning champions, Arsenal are second in the table heading into the weekend’s action. For Karen, vastly experienced when it comes to women’s football in the capital, the task of facing up to the Gunners is a tough one, but nevertheless one to enjoy.
“It’s a challenge that we’re ready to embrace,” she said. “Within the season you’re always going to come up against top teams, top players and that’s what our ambition was, to compete in this league. We know there are going to be good moments and bad moments throughout the season and this, for us, is a good moment, whatever the outcome of the game. Arsenal are a fantastic team, pioneers of the women’s game and have been at the forefront of it for many, many years.
“We’re closing the gap every time we play them and we hope that this is going to be no different. We know it’s going to be a big, big challenge but we’re ready for it and we’re going to learn, whatever the outcome is. There’s a lot of learning that takes place on and off the field, that will only make us better and we’ll keep striving to be the best we can.”
We go into the match having won three out of five in the WSL so far. Since our 2-1 win at Bristol City at the end of last month, we’ve also produced a dominant performance on the way to a 3-0 victory at Crystal Palace in the Continental League Cup. Juan hopes we can continue that winning momentum as league duties resume following a two-week international break.
“Once you win games then obviously it’s easier to prepare,” he said. “As coaches we know that when you win games you create a positive mindset and I think that’s only going to be a positive back-up (on Sunday), but at the same time we’re never relaxed, we’re always looking at the next game to prepare and for us, like we always say, every match is a final. Having positive results is only going to be an extra energy and an extra belief in what we need to do in order to win.”
Join us at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday for what promises to be an incredible occasion. Tickets are on sale now but won’t be available at the stadium on the day, so book now to avoid disappointment.