The charity worker out to cause an FA Cup shock

If West Bromwich Albion are to shock Brighton in the women’s FA Cup this weekend, they will look to their very own ‘Iniesta’ in Phoebe Warner.

The 22-year-old midfielder is among the part-time squad of third tier West Brom, who take on Women’s Super League (WSL) opposition in the fourth round on Sunday.

Warner works at local youth engagement charity Powered By Can for her day job, which provides mentoring and opportunities including free sport for young people in West Bromwich.

She will be aiming to take some of that positivity into Sunday, in order for the side 10th in the Women’s National League North to cause a major upset.

“In the projects we run with girls, many of them are interested in football after the Euros,” she tells BBC Sport.

“You see a lot of young girls who have a broad knowledge of the women’s game now.”

Women’s FA Cup: London City Lionesses eye Tottenham scalp despite manager’s exitWomen’s FA Cup: Hashtag United’s Sammy Rowland has a scoring record to match Erling Haaland

Despite West Brom’s league struggles – they sit just one point outside the relegation zone – Warner has been a bright spark for the team since joining from Coventry United last summer.

She has scored four goals in the FA Cup this season, including a hat-trick in an 8-0 win at Lichfield Town in round two.

A creative force, she tries to model herself on former Barcelona and Spain international Andres Iniesta, a World Cup winner and one of the masters of the midfield craft.

“I’m a technical player, I like to stay on ball,” she says. “Equally this season I have added goals to my game.

“If I was to compare myself, my role model is Andres Iniesta.”

Despite Brighton’s own struggles in the league – sitting 11th in the WSL, one place above the relegation zone themselves following defeat to rock-bottom Leicester two weeks ago – the Seagulls start as clear favourites against the Baggies.

However, Warner insists West Brom will not be daunted by top division opposition and will try to play their usual style of creative football.

“The FA Cup is a great competition,” she says. “Scoring a hat-trick in it, that’s one of the highlights of my senior career.

“Personally I’m really excited. It’s a good way to measure ourselves against a full-time team. The whole day and the occasion is going to be really exciting.”

“We’re quite a possession based team, we have ability to go forwards quite quickly and we will try to expose their weak points.

“We aren’t going to change too much about ourselves, we have belief and confidence to execute what we’re working on.”

Are you in need of a good night’s sleep? Here are nine amazing facts to help you improve the quality of your sleep’I hated his comedy’: Steve Coogan chats to Nihal Arthanayake about British humour and cancel culture

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *