Havant hungry for Hampshire Cup glory

Zoe Stride. Picture: Neil Marshall
Zoe Stride. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Havant have the appetite to book their place in the Hampshire Cup final, according to coach Mark Robinson.

The South Clubs’ Women’s League division one side take on Basingstoke away in the semi-final of the county competition on Sunday (1.45pm).

Having secured their league status at the tail end of the season, Havant can now fully focus on cup glory.

They were last in action almost three weeks ago but Robinson was impressed with the intensity and fitness of the players as they resumed training this week.

‘We’ve had a break from playing but had a double training session this week and that should put us right where we want to be come Sunday,’ said Robinson.

‘You’re either rusty or the break does you good and I was very impressed with the girls.

‘They really want to get to the final. They’re not taking Basingstoke lightly and there’s no arrogance there.

‘We’ve been working on our intensity in training.’

Last season Havant were knocked out by Southampton in the first round, so they have already bettered last year’s showing and now want to go all the way.

‘Of course, we really want to go to Hampshire finals day on May 4,’ added Robinson.

‘But I think it will be incredibly difficult against Basingstoke.

‘We’ve had two cup games against Hampshire division one opposition, which have been relatively easy.

‘Basingstoke are only two divisions below us and have been knocking on the door to go up to division two.

‘They will have home advantage and their second team are also playing in the cup, so there’ll be quite a few people down there supporting them.’

Havant are missing Nicky Atkins and Francesca Clements this weekend but, otherwise, have a full-strength squad to choose from.

However, the coach is using the opportunity to blood a handful of under-16 players into the side, who will be supported by senior members of the squad, like Zoe Stride.

‘The squad will have a slightly different look,’ added Robinson.

‘We will use young players who don’t get an opportunity to play in the first team.’