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We’re on our way, on our way, to Wembley on our way!

That’s how the song goes as thousands of teams and supporters dream of a day on the hallowed turf of the most iconic stadium in the country.

England’s men have lifted a world cup there, not long ago the lionesses became European champions and in just a few weeks Needham Market Women players can say they played on the same pitch as Ella Toone, Chloe Kelly and Beth Mead from that wonderful day in the summer.

While those Lionesses were making history, the women’s team were making their own history by entering and then progressing to the final on the 18th of November in the annual BT Sport Pub cup.

Under the guise of a local Needham pub (The Swan) the team got through their heat in a 7 a side tournament based at Crystal Palace’s Training ground.

Topping their group, the team got through the semi final and after starting with a 1-1 draw they faced the same opposition in the final – progressing thanks to the heroics of Danni Clarke in the penalty shootout after a late Lois Balfour equaliser took it the distance.

First team centre back Laura Bloomfield explained the motivation to enter: “One of my friends from the midlands entered last year and got to the Etihad. This inspired me as an idea for us at Needham!”.

And what a decision it turned out to be!

The semi finals day progressed into an 11 a side tournament based at the Etihad campus with the shadow of Wembley looming large in the background.

Again, the team topped their group without defeat before qualifying for Wembley with emphatic 4-0 win in the play-off final – where they will play the White Boar Inn from Lancashire

Fellow centre back and captain, Ele Catchpole said: “The initial aim was to win the tournament at Crystal Palace, we weren’t thinking beyond that.

Then we realised we were 4 games away from Wembley and that suddenly became the aim!”.

Since the semi final the team have had to change representation to another Needham Pub – The Three Tuns – as the swan closed looking for new ownership during the tournament.

Ash Sagnella owner of the three tuns said: "I’m feeling really excited and privileged that the team have asked me to be represented under the three tuns pub and have made it all the way to the final at Wembley!"

For the players themselves it will be a day they will never forget!

Laura concluded: “It’s so incredible to even imagine still. When watching Eng vs USA a few weeks ago, it is unbelievable and exciting to think we will play on that same turf. The squad is buzzing but we are still in shock”.

Ele reiterated her defensive partners sentiments: “Really excited! How many people get the opportunity to play at Wembley? So many professionals don’t get the chance and for us at our level is crazy. The squad is so excited and even though we knew back in the summer, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet”.

It will be a momentous day for the team, and you can be part of it!!

Free entry will be given to anyone wanting to attend but you will need to fill out the below form by Friday 4th of November.

So why not come and cheer the team to glory in the iconic surroundings of Wembley stadium on a day that everyone connected to Needham Market will never forget!




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