Coventry City Ladies striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk will be hoping to end 2012 in style, by ensuring the club qualify for the quarter-finals of the Birmingham County FA Womens Cup this Sunday.
The current holders host Coventry Ladies Development FC in the Third Round of the competition, and Sweetman-Kirk believes that the team has what it takes to replicate their cup-winning exploits from the last campaign.
‘’The first objective at the start of the season was to stay in the league, but I think finishing higher than last year and retaining the FA County Cup – as well as having good runs in the FA League Cup and FA Cup – is a realistic target. Personally, I just want to play a big part for the club this season, so we can achieve that.’’
She continued: ‘’this season I think we have done what's 'expected' in terms of league position, but we are consistently getting better and better as a unit. The attitude within the team at the moment is great and victory at the weekend will put us in a great position going in to the Christmas break.’’
A combination of waterlogged and frozen pitches have seriously affected the Sky Blues schedule in the build-up to the festive period. In their last game – four weeks ago – Sweetman-Kirk netted a hat-trick, en route to a resounding 14-0 victory over Knowle that ensured a place in the third round of the competition for Coventry City.
Sweetman-Kirk topped the goalscoring charts for the Sky Blues last season, netting 15 goals in all competitions, including the winning goal in the FA County Cup final against Aston Villa. The striker has eight so far in the 2012/13 season, but she is hoping to at least double that total by the end of the season.
‘’I want to beat my goal tally for last season’’ she stated. ‘’I feel like I've learnt a lot from last season – which was my first in the Premier League – and I’ve certainly progressed and become more consistent as a player. I always want to improve, so hopefully I can see that with my goalscoring record at the end of the season.’’
Coventry Ladies Development FC play in the West Midlands Women’s Division 1 South – the 5th tier of women’s football in the country – and are currently in 6th place. They defeated Atherstone Rangers in the first round of the County Cup, before easing past Attleborough Mills Ladies, to set up the tie with the Sky Blues.
The third round tie will take place at Coventry University this Sunday, and will kick off at 1pm.