Shots Ladies Final on Sunday

Aldershot Town Ladies face Bracknell Town in the Chairman's Cup Final

Aldershot Town Ladies' side are set to create a bit of history as they play Bracknell Town at the EBB Stadium on this coming Sunday in the 2012 Chairman's Cup Final. It'll be the team's biggest match in history; the first time the team has competed in the Chairman's Cup, manager Ryan Salmon's first final with the club in only his first season, and ultimately a chance for the team to put a trophy in the club's cabinet on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the reformation of Aldershot Town FC.

Club secretary Matt Leary, for whom Sunday's game will be his last with the club, spoke exclusively to Premium Shots about the season, the final, and what winning will mean to the team on Sunday.

"It's certainly been a tricky season. We've suffered with depleted squads through injuries, players at work etc., and on occasions we've played out of our socks and either not got the result we deserved or the decisions have haven't fallen our way. However, we've had games where we have produced some stunning performances and rightly come away with all three points. The Southern Region Premier Division is a very hard league to be successful in. Oxford United aside (Premier Division Champions), any team can beat any other team in the Premier Division on their day. Get on a winning run and you can rocket up the standings, lose just one or two and you plunge towards the drop zone.

"To be in a cup final is a great occasion for any club. Add in the facts that it's against our local rivals Bracknell Town, it's at a Football League stadium and it's our home ground and it has all the ingredients for a magical occasion. For some players it will be their first ever cup final, others their first with the club and for Lesley (Hubbard- goal keeper) and Di (Smith- vice captain) their last as players for the club.

"We're very much looking forward to taking on Bracknell. Looking back at the previous results, we know we can beat them but equally we know it will be a tight affair. We've done our homework on the Robins, studied the video footage from previous games and we know where their main threats lie. In terms of our players, we've no injury worries and we're fortunate that Caz Shephard, who was injured in the home game against Bracknell earlier in the season, is back to full fitness and will be available on Sunday.

"We also know how unforgiving the EBB Stadium pitch is. It's a fantastic pitch to play on and Andy Nunn and his staff do a magnificent job, but its size as one of the biggest pitches in the country will present a real challenge. Ryan has told the players they could be out there for up to two hours, but we are fortunate that we have played our FA Cup games there in the past so the players know the physical challenge it will present. And we as the technical staff know what will have to be done in terms of preparation to make sure they are fully fit on the day, and to keep them in optimum condition during the day itself by getting plenty of the right energy on-board. We're fortunate in that we got the home draw so we will have the splendid facilities of the home dressing room for Sunday too- it's all about making the players as comfortable and relaxed as possible come kick-off.

"Winning the final will send the players into the summer in a fantastic mood and will hopefully allow us to start next season on a real high. A successful club will also attract an improved quality and quantity of players, coaches and most importantly sponsors which is vital for the finacial stability of the club at our level."

Matt has a final note for the club's supporters; "We've been blessed with terrific support at both our home and away games and on behalf of the team I'd like to thank every single one of them for their support this season. However, we still need the supporters to be the 12th man on Sunday. We need our supporters, Aldershot Town FC supporters and everyone associate with the club to turn out in force and cheer the girls from the first kick to the final whistle."

The 2012 Southern region Chairman's Cup Final between Aldershot Town Ladies and Bracknell Town Ladies FC kicks off on Sunday 20th may at 6pm. Entry is £2 and food and drink will be available.

For further information visit the club's event page at www.facebook.com/events/201594223277110/

Photos by David Child

Picture Gallery

Vice Captain Di Smith
Goalkeeper Lesley Hubbard
Manager Ryan Salmon