Crawley Wasps captain Naomi Cole has vowed to make the professionals of Arsenal feel as ‘uncomfortable as possible’ ahead of Sunday’s SSE Women’s FA Cup fourth-round showdown.
Around 1,000 fans are expected to pack in to Oakwood’s Tinsley Lane ground as Wasps – top of women’s football’s fourth tier – take on the 14-times cup winners and Women’s Super League giants.
And Cole, who came through Arsenal’s youth ranks before going on to play for Chelsea, Millwall and England under-23s, says her team will not be overawed.
“We’ve got no expectations on us,” she said. “It’s an absolute bonus if we can put in a fantastic performance and push Arsenal.
“They’ll play their brand of football, it’s down to us to try and break that up.
“Bringing them to Oakwood is going to be a test for them, which will be great for us.
“We’re going to make it as uncomfortable as possible.”
Cole insists whatever side Arsenal select, they will provide a tough challenge and great entertainment for the fans.
She said: “No matter who they put out, they’ll be quality players.
“We’re going to enjoy the occasion, hopefully get a lot of people through the door and make Crawley proud.
“We want to build a foundation at this club.
“This environment is fantastic. Everyone’s like a family here and we want to bring that culture to the fans and make them feel like they’re welcome here.”
Manager Paul Walker added: “It’s the biggest day in the club’s history, it’s probably the biggest day in women’s football in Crawley.
“The most important thing to us is not making loads of money, it’s about putting on a super event.
“It’s David and Goliath. We want the locals to get behind us and be our 12th man.”
Kick-off is at 3pm. Tickets cost £5 for adults, £2 for concessions and £1 for 16 and unders, and should be bought in advance online to avoid disappointment.
Visit www.crawleywasps.com and click on the tickets graphic.
Watch a Crawley Wasps FA Cup tour video on www.crawleyobserver.co.uk and click on sport.
DID YOU SEE?