Spurs Women: Daring To Dream!

Last year, I penned a women’s football romance, Hotshot, featuring a fictional team, Salchester Rovers. In it, they overcame many obstacles to win the FA Cup Final at Wembley. On Sunday, my team, Spurs Women, booked their place at this year’s FA Cup Final against Man Utd in May. Could life imitate art? Was I prophetic? Could we?

When I was young, Spurs’ men’s team had a habit of winning FA Cups. 1981. 1982. 1991. Ossie Ardiles! Ricky Villa! Gazza! I used to walk around the playground singing “Spurs are on their way to Wembley!” Because they often were. Fast-forward a few decades, and it’s well documented that the current Spurs men’s team have no idea where Wembley is.

Enter, Spurs Women, who only got promoted to the Women’s Super League in 2019. In five short years, they’ve established themselves as a top-flight side, and this season, they’ve beaten Arsenal in the league for the first time ever, as well as defeating serial FA Cup winners Man City in the quarter-final. Yesterday, they beat Leicester with an extra-time goal three minutes from time, and will play in their first ever FA Cup Final at Wembley next month. Herstory made.

If I was writing the script for this Spurs movie, I doubt I could rival the drama of the past couple of years. Last season in the league, we teetered on the edge, and were only saved by the canny signing of Beth England who scored the goals to keep us up. This season, we’ve got a new manager, fresh players, a new swagger. We’re not the finished article by any means, but we don’t give up. We score late goals. This season, on our day, we can compete with the best.

So to Wembley. I’ve been to a few women’s FA Cup finals at Selhurst Park and Loftus Road, but only one at Wembley. That day, back in 2017, Man City beat Birmingham City 4-1. Afterwards, we went to a bar, and the entire Man City team turned up later on. They took over the music and we ended up dancing to Oasis with Steph Houghton, Jill Scott & Izzy Christiansen. How times have changed.

Next month, thanks to the heroics of Beth England in the fourth round, of Becky Spencer in the quarters, and of Jess Naz and Martha Thomas in the semis, I’m going to an FA Cup Final at Wembley starring Spurs Women. I still can’t believe it: the team I follow every week. The last time I was there for a final, England won the Euros with an extra-time winner. Could we?

If this were my story, I’d write a similar ending to Hotshot. It’d go something like: Spurs go one-nil down, but come back in the second half to beat Man Utd 2-1 in the dying minutes. Just like they did against Leicester in the semi-final on Sunday. All the drama. All the emotions. But always a happy ending. (Obviously I’d prefer a comfortable 7-0 victory, but I live in the real world!)

This morning, I’ve still got stardust in my veins. Can we go to Wembley and beat Man Utd in the FA Cup Final? Why not? We’ve overcome many obstacles to get here. But most of all, I’m so proud of the team. I’m so thrilled for everyone connected. Especially Ash Neville and Jess Naz, who’ve been there from the start. Plus, whoever wins, it’s a new name on the trophy. Not Arsenal, Chelsea, or Man City. That’s great for women’s football.

I’m going to try to get in on the script-writing for the final. Try to ensure Spurs follow it to a tee. Spurs Women winning the FA Cup at Wembley? Life imitating art? It just might happen.

Dream BIG.

You can buy a copy of Hotshot by clicking here.