Reigning women’s FA Cup champions Manchester City will begin their title defence against Brighton and Hove Albion as they set their sights on a record four trophies this season.
Manchester City are currently top of the WSL 1 and are set to face Chelsea tomorrow in the semi-finals of the Continental Cup, before playing Linköpings FC in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Despite Manchester City’s unbeaten run in the league that stretches back to 2015, forward Keira Walsh remained coy of her side’s chances this season.
“We are looking to win all three domestic trophies this season and bring them back to Manchester because there is no better feeling than being double champions and retaining the trophies we won last year.
“I think we are also pushing on in the Champions League and we will hopefully go one further and reach the final this year.”
Speaking after the fourth-round draw, Manchester City women’s star Walsh said she is relishing the opportunity to play against another side that adopt a similar style of play.
“We have heard that Brighton are a good team, they like to keep the ball and play good football very similar to ourselves. Hopefully it will be an interesting game and one which we can win,” said the Rochdale-born 20-year-old .
“We take every game as it comes so we won’t be looking ahead to the final, we will be looking to the next game itself.
“I think we just want to win everything so there’s not really much pressure on us as a team.”
2017 PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year nominee Georgia Stanway also agreed with her teammate adding that despite being in the division below, the Seagulls will still be tricky opponents.
“It will be tough for us, especially as holders because other teams will obviously put in that extra effort to try and take it off us.
“It will be a long journey down there but hopefully the game can make up for that.
“It is a good draw for us as you can see that a lot of WSL 1 teams got drawn against each other.”
The Citizens beat Birmingham City 4-1 at Wembley last season to lift the esteemed FA Cup trophy for the first time in the club’s history in front of a record crowd of 35,271.
With Manchester City’s recent success in the competition, there is little surprise that the trophy is one in which both players hold dear.
“Coming on at Wembley in about the 60th minute and playing on that pitch it was a dream come true, especially with all the people and my family in the stands. There is no bigger opportunity than that,” said 19-year-old Stanway.
Walsh added: “The way the team played on the day, I think it was probably one of the best games that we have played as a team. Cup games can swing either way, but as a team we really controlled the game against Birmingham City.”
The meeting between Manchester City and Brighton on Sunday February 4 will be the first meeting between the two sides.
This season’s SSE Women’s FA Cup final will take place at Wembley Stadium on May 5, for the fourth season running, and thanks to the FA’s partnership with SSE, all children can attend for free.