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It is just one month to the 2008 FA Women's Cup Final, sponsored by E.ON at Nottingham Forest's City Ground, and ticket sales have already passed the 10,000 mark.
Yesterday, Arsenal and England striker Lianne Sanderson was joined by two local Nottingham-born players from Leeds United - and the FA Women's Cup trophy - at South Wilford Primary School as 20 young girls were put through their paces on the playing field.
Katie Holtham was born and raised in West Bridgford, and last year scored Charlton Athletic's opener at the City Ground in front of a record crowd of 24,529. Katie was joined by her fellow Leeds and England Under-23 international team mate Sophie Bradley, who two seasons ago joined the Yorkshire outfit from Nottingham Forest, having grown up in the Mapperley part of the city.
This year, reigning holders Arsenal will take on Leeds United in a re-run of the 2006 final, with Leeds hoping to re-dress the 5-0 defeat handed out at Millwall's New Den that day. The two sides were due to meet in a dress rehearsal in the League at the weekend but the game fell foul of the snow.
Despite Arsenal's dominance of the League, Rick Passmoor's side have the memory of last season's FA Women's League Cup Final when only an injury time goal from Jayne Ludlow saw Arsenal to a narrow victory at Glanford Park.
Back at school, Lianne, Katie and Sophie took part in a practical session led by Community Coaches from Notts County, before Nottingham Forest's Community Coach Graham Moran hosted a question and answer session.
Graham told the children how he remembered Katie as a 10-year-old playing for Notts County's Centre of Excellence in a game in Peterborough.
"We brought Katie on as a sub and some of the parents laughed," he recalled. "Within seconds, Katie had taken the ball, a boy and the corner flag in a crunching tackle, and I was really proud to see someone I coached all that time ago, playing and scoring in the Cup Final last season."
In a message to the children of South Wilford Primary School, he added: "There's some good little footballers here, and you should remember this day. Who knows, in another ten years, it could be you in the final, coming back to inspire another generation of young girls to follow their dreams."
Tickets for the 2008 Final can be ordered via the Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 1980, with group booking discounts also available.
Photo - Action Images
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