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Women’s Team defender Francesca Davies impressed with Reds’ “positive mindset” ahead of Cup final

With one more competitive game to play in the 2017/18 season, this afternoon, defender Francesca Davies can look back at another consistently strong campaign at the heart of United’s defence. Having been a standout part of the Reds’ success both this season and in previous years, our number 2 brought up the 100 appearance mark in last month’s Argyle Cup semi-final win over CMB Ladies. Davies was delighted to reach three figures in an F.C. shirt and is determined to keep making that number bigger each week. "It feels amazing to have reached the milestone. When I first started at the club, I couldn’t imagine reaching 100 appearances but it’s certainly been a pleasure to play for the club. Here’s to the next 100!"

Having made over 100 appearances for the club, winning the league title in recent weeks meant a lot to the long-serving defender. Davies was overjoyed to have finally got over the line on the league front. "I feel that it has been a long time coming! We have worked very hard to get the promotion and I feel like it’s thoroughly deserved. I can’t wait for next season as I’m hoping that for myself as a centre-half it will be more challenging."

With the Reds having such a successful season on the pitch, there is plenty that can be taken into the next campaign. Davies believes that taking the Reds’ in-game mentality, built up this season, will be key to having similar success next season. "I think that week-in-week-out we have always dominated possession as Luke [Podmore] has instilled in us a strong passing mentality. I believe that if we are able to maintain this dominance on the pitch next season, it will help us for our quest for success in the league above."

Having wrapped up the league title, two weeks ago, Davies was part of the Reds’ five-a-side team that superbly won the 2017/18 FA People’s Cup at St. George’s Park, later that evening. The defender, alongside teammates Chloe Ainsworth, Fran Sullivan, Cara Fields and Jess Battle won the national competition live on the BBC, with a 3-1 win on penalties in the final. Davies insists that it was a pleasure to represent the Reds on a national scale. "It was a fantastic competition to represent the club in, but to come first out of 480 teams definitely says a lot about the quality of players that we have within our squad. Getting to play and use the facilities at St. George’s Park, home of England, only made it better!"

Earlier in the week, it was announced that FCUMW will make the Broadhurst Park stadium their permanent home from next season. As a long-standing member of the club, Davies already can’t wait to kick-off the new season. "I’m very much looking forward to next season. It’s a fantastic pitch to play on and definitely suits our style of play. I think it’ll also be very intimidating for the opposition to play in the stadium."

United will play in their fourth cup final in just over a year this afternoon, and their second this season. Davies believes that Cup final experience will be beneficial to the Reds on the day. "I definitely think it helps going into the final with the success of the previous cup and the experience that we have gained from playing in other recent finals."

It would be difficult for the Reds not to be motivated for this afternoon’s encounter with Stockport County LFC having finished the league season unbeaten with a 10-1 win at Curzon Ashton LFC on Wednesday night. Our number 2 insists that the mindset in the dressing room is one that is focused and ready to carry out the task in-front of them - this afternoon. "I think everyone has a positive mindset. We know the job in hand and we will channel everything into that game. This is already our most successful season and another cup win would round off the season nicely."

You can see Francesca Davies and her teammates go for back-to-back Argyle Cup titles at Millbank Linnets Stadium, Stockham Lane (WA7 6GJ), this afternoon (13th May) - 4pm kick-off!

We hope to see you there!

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 11:39 Sun 13 May 2018
News ID ~ 7898
Last Updated ~ 12:07 Sun 13 May 2018