Courtney Sweetman-Kirk believes that Coventry City Ladies have all the attributes to replicate last season’s FA County Cup success.
The Sky Blues booked their place in the quarter-finals of the competition with an 8-0 demolition of Coventry Ladies Development FC on Sunday, with Sweetman-Kirk netting four second-half goals, and the striker believes that the club can successfully defend their title after the Christmas break.
Speaking after the drubbing, Sweetman-Kirk said: ‘’we are a team that believes in each other and we are all very close in that respect. I certainly believe we can not only just replicate, but better what we did last year.’’
She continued: ‘’I think we all hold the FA County Cup as a massively important competition for the club. As the holders, we want to retain it and I think you can see that by the strong sides we have put out in the competition so far.’’
Early goals from Danni Saulter and Helen Dermody put the hosts 2-0 ahead at the break, before a second-half onslaught saw Sweetman-Kirk net four, whilst Kat Clarke and Natasha Lynch added to the scoreline. The disparity between the two teams could have been even greater, had it not been for the actions of Coventry Ladies Development goalkeeper Kerry Williamson, who pulled off a plethora of excellent saves throughout the tie.
The glut of goals increased Sweetman-Kirk’s total to 12 in all competitions this season, which leaves her just three goals short of matching last season’s efforts in front of goal. Looking back on 2012, the forward admitted that changes in personnel have made the club stronger over the course of the year.
‘’The club has had a few changes in terms of players, staff and management, so we have had no choice but to grow’’ she admitted. ‘’What the club has achieved has been fantastic and I have loved every minute of being a part of that. Personally I feel I have improved immensely as a player due to the coaching I've had at the club, and training with quality players week-in, week-out.’’
Coventry City return to league action on 6th January, as they travel to take on high-flying Watford, who currently sit second in the FA Women’s Premier League table, having lost just once since September.