THERE is a double header at the Kassam Stadium this weekend, with Oxford United Ladies playing Newcastle United in the FA Women’s Cup.
Sunday’s fourth round tie is the first time the ladies have played at the stadium.
There is a huge reward on offer for the winners, with the eight Women’s Super League teams entering the competition in the fifth round.
U’s skipper Sahara Osborne-Ricketts is thrilled the team have a chance to play on a bigger stage.
She said: “Playing at the Kassam is a massive thing for us, most of our games we never get to play somewhere like that.
“If we were to get through you could be up against the likes of Arsenal or Birmingham.
“Arsenal would be the dream draw for me, just to play on the same pitch as some of their stars would be amazing.”
The playing surface at the Kassam has attracted plenty of criticism this season, but it is not a factor for striker Lauren Allison, who scored in the excellent win at Charlton Athletic in the previous round.
She said: “I couldn’t care less about what the pitch is like, we’re just hoping to get a decent attendance.
“I think we’re all pretty excited, especially after the last round.
“We’re the underdogs again and there are no expectations on our behalf, so the pressure is on them.”
The ladies have enjoyed a superb season so far and are top of their division.
Natasha Caswell paid tribute to the coaching staff for their role in the success.
“(Manager) Richard Blackmore has done a magnificent job in terms of preparing us for the game and giving us the tools to succeed,” she said.
“We do our homework, train three times a week and also prepare really well on match days.”
Meet the team
Hannah Cox, 22, from Oxford
George Currie, 21, Bicester
Hayley Bennett, 17, North Leigh
Amy Chivers, 20, Oxford
Isi Meade, 18, Abingdon
Stephanie Mobbs, 24, Oxford
Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, 21, Oxford
Abi Smith, 22, Oxford
Catherine Beaver, 27, Brize Norton
Natasha Caswell, 28, Bicester
Dan Anderson, 20, Oxford
Holly Pickett, 21, Oxford
Lindsay Pinker, 18, Oxford
Lauren Allison, 18, Bicester
Stacey Coles, 22, Oxford
Katie Stanley, 23, Thame