On Sunday afternoon, the Cardiff City Women’s team celebrated one of their finest achievements to date as they lifted the FAW Women’s Cup, defeating Llandudno Ladies 5-2 in the Final.
After a tough road to the Final, including wins over Cardiff Met and Swansea City, Cardiff City’s Shannon Evans scored a fine hat-trick at Latham Park, as the Bluebirds came back from a goal down against Llandudno Ladies to lift the Cup.
Following the match, we spoke to Head Coach Damian Flynn, who is in charge of the Women's & Girls' Department, and Senior Team Manager Joel Hutton, as well as hat-trick hero Shannon Evans, as they reflected on the superb achievement, and set their sights on continued success for their side.
Help us celebrate Foundation Day 2016 vs Bolton Wanderers this weekend - with two free tickets for 2016/17 Season Ticket Holders!
“We never make things easy for ourselves, so it was great to get the victory,” began Joel. “As I said to the girls, if anyone deserved the Cup it was us, as we beat the two strongest teams in our League set-up, Cardiff Met and Swansea City, on our way to the Final.
“We didn’t start particularly well, and Llandudno were always going to make it difficult for us, as they work fantastically well as a team. We changed shape at half-time though, as they had caused us some problems in midfield, and I think the quality of the girls shone through by the end.”
Damian went on to mention the starring role of Shannon Evans in the match, before looking forward to the future challenges and objectives of the Women’s side, adding: “it’s been a long time coming and something that we’ve never achieved before.
“Shannon’s performance was by far the best I’ve seen from her. She was on fire and she’s now scored twenty-eight goals this season, having played a quarter of the campaign at centre-half!
“The other ten players on the pitch, and those who came off the bench, were phenomenal too. They achieved something that we’ve been wanting to do for years, so ‘hats off’ to every single one of them.
“We’re now looking to secure third place in the League, before pushing on for next season. The aim then, within the next two seasons, would be to be League champions, which is something that I think we’re more than capable of.
“We’ve got a young squad, who will grow into their own specific roles in the team, and I think with the right coaching guidance and attitude from the players, we can achieve that.”
Finally, Shannon Evans was understandably delighted following her sublime hat-trick and FAW Woman of the Match performance.
However, the City striker was keen to praise the role of her teammates in the Cup victory, as fellow Bluebirds Chelsea Cochrane and Kylie Nolan also got on the scoresheet.
“It was amazing,” said Shannon. “I couldn’t believe it. After going 1-0 down, everyone showed great character to come back. The teamwork was great to see.
“I started the season at centre-half and then moved forward to play up top, so I’m very pleased with how it’s gone. We just want to keep playing as we have been now for the rest of the season, and hopefully we’ll have more achievements in the future.”
This season, the Cardiff City Women's Team also celebrated a three-year sponsorship agreement with Arriva Trains Wales. You can find out more about Arriva Trains' support of the Women's game, here.
Watch Match Highlights of the Cardiff City Women's 5-2 Cup Final victory below...