Last year’s SSE Women’s FA Cup final win may have been one of Katie Chapman’s career highlights to date – but the Chelsea captain is determined to add to those memories this time around against Arsenal.
Ji So-Yun’s goal was all that separated Chelsea from Notts County last August as Chelsea secured their first ever silverware in the inaugural FA Cup final staged at Wembley.
It was an experience that appears to have whetted the Chelsea players’ appetite for more as the team have again progressed all the way through to the showpiece game this season, including beating Manchester City in extra time in the semi-finals.
Next Saturday afternoon the Blues will lock horns with 13-times winners Arsenal – a team they beat 2-0 in FA Women’s Super League 1 last month.
Although England midfielder Chapman knows the size of the occasion next weekend means that previous results stand for very little.
She said: “Everyone wants to play in the FA Cup. Everyone wants to play in the FA Cup final, and here at Wembley.
“I think it was one of the proudest moments of my career when we did it last year. Captaining Chelsea, I absolutely love it.
“I have been at Arsenal and won a lot of trophies, but I do love this team. I haven’t been in a team that is so together as Chelsea.
“We have a great bunch of players and a great bunch of people. For us to be back here for a second time, it feels like home. It is nice for us.
“I think it will be a different game than the other week. I think you are looking at a bigger pitch and a bigger stage.
“The environment, it all plays a part and it is an FA Cup final of course.
“I think Arsenal as a club have been very successful over the years in Cup finals and for us, coming off the back of last year with a win, it is going to be a great game for everyone to watch.”
For Chapman, the game will be particularly special having previously spent two spells as a player with Arsenal where she won the Cup four times.
But whatever the outcome, she knows it will be a match that lives long in the memories for all the players involved.
“It’s the home of English football. Every kid dreams of playing at Wembley and we certainly do and it is nice to have this day for the women to have it at the home of football,” she added.
“We hope to have a massive crowd, I hope we get a bigger one than last year because the atmosphere was amazing that day and to get more people in to watch the game would be brilliant.
“I think SSE has been massive for the women’s game. It is brilliant too have them as sponsor because they do so much to help raise the profile of the women’s game.
“It is important we do that and is important to have support, and SSE’s support in the FA Cup final is massive.”
To buy your tickets to The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final, visit www.thefa.com