'It's something you dream of' - Orpington's Claire Rafferty dreams of Wembley return ahead of FA Cup semi final
PUBLISHED: 14:12 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 08:52 13 April 2017
Chelsea take on Birmingham in the women's FA Cup
When Claire Rafferty became the first girl to be selected in Orpington District’s football side, she could only dream of making regular appearances at Wembley Stadium.
But the Chelsea FC star is just one step away from her latest return to the home of English football, as she gets ready to take on Birmingham City Ladies in the semi final of the FA Cup.
Speaking ahead of the match on Easter Monday, the former Team GB and England international said: “It’s something you dream of, I remember being in my back garden kicking a ball around with my brother, pretending I was walking out on to the Wembley pitch.”
Ms Rafferty was part of England Women’s run to the World Cup semi-final in 2015, and believes such success has helped bring women’s football to the public’s attention.
Ahead of the tie, she also told us about her hopes for the match.
“We’ve had a relatively straightforward run of games leading up to this, Birmingham are a tough team but there’s a lot of pressure on us to go far because of the stature of the club.
“We’re favourites going into this, and we learned a lot from losing in the final last year so it should be a good game.”
Ms Rafferty was speaking to us from The FA’s Make Dreams Goals initiative event at Cobham Training Ground.
The initiative aims to encourage young football fans to share their footballing dreams, before turning a chosen few into reality. Entrants have until Monday 17 April to submit their dreams with postboxes present on matchday or online at www.thefa.com/makedreamsgoals
Chelsea Ladies FC travel to Birmingham on Easter Monday for a 2.05pm kick off.