When Arsenal walk out at Wembley for the FA Women’s Cup final against Chelsea on 14 May, it will be the first time their red strip has featured under the arch while on the backs of the ladies’ side. However, for Alex Scott it will be the third shirt she has worn at the storied stadium, each representing a different team that’s part of her upbringing.
“I look at my career and I’ve won so much, had some fantastic times, and to finally get to walk out at Wembley in an Arsenal shirt will be the icing on the cake,” she told FIFA.com. “I’ve managed to do it in an England shirt and with Team GB (Great Britain), so to finally do it with the club where it all started for me will be amazing.”
During her career Scott has reached the heights of winning a bronze medal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, being part of the first Great Britain women’s side at an Olympics and scoring the winner in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. Even so, appearing at Wembley for the side she has been a part of, on and off, since she was eight years old ranks right up there. “I feel like I’m so blessed to have achieved the things I have done in my career and for it isn’t over yet – I’m still hungry – but for me, walking out at Wembley in an Arsenal shirt, will be a very special day.”
Both of those previous appearances have carried their fair share of occasion – triumphing over Brazil with Great Britain in front of a record women’s crowd in England, and then taking on Germany in the Lionesses’ first appearance since its re-opening. This game, the second FA Women’s Cup Final held at the national stadium, will be almost run-of-the-mill by comparison – apart from the fact it is a London derby set to be in front of a record-breaking crowd for the final.
Chelsea arrive at Wembley as the current holders and on roll in the Women’s Super League, with a 100 per cent record that includes a 2-0 win over Scott’s Gunners. There will also be a few familiar faces lining up in blue, rather than red, too. “It will be a challenge, especially with Emma Hayes who was a coach at Arsenal once, as well as lot of girls who have played at Arsenal, such as Katie Chapman, Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey,” she admitted. “It’s more than just a derby.”
This is now Scott’s third stint with the North London club, following periods away at Birmingham City and Boston Breakers, though the litany of trophies has not flowed as they have done in the past, which peaked with a quadruple in 2007. “It’s been a transition over the last couple of years at Arsenal,” Scott said matter-of-factly. “A lot of players left for the likes of Man City and Chelsea, who were investing a lot of money when Arsenal wasn’t.
“But for me it was it was a case of staying faithful to my team while we were in a transitional phase, as well as being confident things would turn around.” Scott is hoping that comes to pass on another memorable day under the Wembley arch.