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FA Cup triumph could signal new era for Everton – boss Willie Kirk

Willie Kirk
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Everton boss Willie Kirk believes victory for his side in Sunday’s rescheduled FA Cup final against Manchester City could signal a new era for the club.

The Merseysiders’ last major trophy was in the same competition 10 years ago, while Arsenal, Chelsea and City have dominated the women’s game in England since then.

Kirk’s side are unbeaten in their first five matches since the start of the 2020/21 Women’s Super League season and are second in the table behind Arsenal.

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When asked if Everton were ready to break back into the so-called ‘top three’, Kirk said: “I think there’s a top five.

“Manchester United would argue that they’re part of that as well and that’s healthy for English football.

“We definitely want to be a part of that top five. We want to be competing for trophies.

“It’s five league games into the season and we’re sitting in a healthy position, but to add silverware would add to that.

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“It would probably justify our claims that we’re trying to be a top team and can compete on a regular basis.”

Everton beat WSL champions Chelsea 2-1 in last month’s rescheduled quarter-finals and followed that up three days later with a 3-0 win against Birmingham at Solihull’s Damson Park.

Sunday’s cup final appearance against current holders City will be Everton’s first since 2014 when they lost 2-0 to Arsenal.

Kirk said a Wembley return had been one of the club’s objectives at the start of the 2019/20 season.

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“We were very strong on that and continued that theme throughout the season and we obviously got there,” he said.

“I think the players felt when the competition got resurrected that it was a little bit written in the stars and the belief just grew and grew.

“The challenge for me now is to make sure we’re not happy with just being at Wembley.

“We’ve reached our objective and now we want to go one better. I don’t think there’s any point going to Wembley unless you’re going to win it.”