Crawley Wasps manager Paul Walker was thrilled to see his star striker Emma Plewa recognised for her goal scoring heroics as she scooped the SSE Women’s FA Cup player of the round trophy.
The Wasps forward slotted a sterling hat-trick to ensure Crawley advanced to the second round with a stunning 6-0 victory over QPR Development to set up a crunch tie with Sussex rivals Chichester City.
Walker, who’s managed the club since 2015 and is also chairman, hasn’t seen his side lose a game all season and was delighted to see the 28-year-old recognised with the award in such a special competition.
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“It was a super performance from Emma. She joined us at the beginning of the season and her performances are getting better and better,” he said.
“The experience and the quality that she brings to the side is game changing.
“She’s part of a very good side, but when you have got the quality of players such as Emma in those offensive wide areas, you are going to cause problems.
“The Women’s FA Cup is the biggest domestic cup competition and it’s one that is an opportunity for sides at all levels to get involved in and feel the excitement of the FA Cup.
“For the club having a good run in this prestigious tournament, it’s fabulous. It’s amazing for the players to get tested against some good sides the further we get in the competition.
“It’s fabulous for the club because it’s great exposure and there’s an excitement about the FA Cup.
“Emma winning this award is fabulous for her and it doesn’t surprise me with her performance.”
A spot in the third round against Coventry United awaits the Sussex derby victors, but Walker will have to manage without his star striker after Plewa fractured her foot ruling her out the tie.
But with his side being one of only two women’s sides in the country to have won every game this season along with Blackburn Rovers, Walker, who played for clubs including Wokingham, Bognor, and Horsham, is confident of causing a classic FA Cup upset.
“It’s a shame that she won’t be back for the next game,” he said.
“In 14 competitive games, we have won all 14, and someone dug out the statistics that we are one of two sides in the pyramid that have that record alongside Blackburn Rovers.
“It’s a big Sussex derby and I know that the girls are all really looking forward to it. It’s a real blow not having Emma, but we have a depth of squad that ensures we can be successful in that game.”
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