Rachel Williams seeks ‘relief’ on personal mission to win FA Cup with Man Utd

United will look to clinch the first major piece of silverware since the side was launched in 2018 when they face Tottenham in Sunday’s sold-out Wembley showdown.

And Williams, who joined in 2022 after leaving Spurs, told the PA news agency: “It would be massive.

“I do think people forget that United Women are only five, six years old and for me being at that club, the improvements I see, even behind the scenes – it’s a club that wants to win things and they invest in us and we’ve got the best of everything to be the best players we can be.

“So I think, with the fans and just for the club in general, this now could be the start of us bringing silverware to the club.”

United, who are currently fifth in the Women’s Super League, take on first-time finalists Spurs a year on from playing in their own maiden final, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in a campaign that also saw them finish second behind the Blues in the league.

Having won the competition in 2012 with Birmingham, Williams, 36, has subsequently been an FA Cup runner-up twice, the other occasion being with Notts County in 2015 when the final was first held at Wembley, and has also in that time experienced League Cup final defeats with both of those clubs.

She said: “2012 is when I last won it. I’ve had a few finals along the way and keep losing. So this year, I want it.

Williams (left) has suffered defeat in two FA Cup finals since winning the competition with Birmingham in 2012 (Nick Potts/PA)

“It would be finally a relief, because I’ve got a winners (medal) and then a losers, losers, losers, so it would nice to get another winners’ one.”

The 2012 success against Chelsea at Ashton Gate – which Birmingham won on penalties after a 2-2 draw, with Williams equalising late in normal time to make it 1-1, then having a spot-kick saved in the shootout – came alongside goalkeeper Becky Spencer.

The pair were also team-mates during Williams’ two-year Tottenham stint and are now set to face each other in Sunday’s showpiece.

“That’s women’s football for you – one minute I’m winning an FA Cup with Becky Spencer and now we’re against each other,” she said.

“Becky’s known me for a long time. So you kind of play that cat and mouse game, like she’ll probably know what I’m going to do, I’m going to know her strengths and weaknesses.

Tottenham goalkeeper Becky Spencer (Adam Davy/PA)
Williams and Tottenham goalkeeper Becky Spencer (pictured) played alongside each other for Birmingham in the 2012 final (Adam Davy/PA)

“The best team is going to win at the end of the day and I’m just hoping that’s going to be us.”

Williams scored United’s second when they beat Chelsea 2-1 in last month’s semi-final at Leigh Sports Village – making a rare start.

While mostly utilised by boss Marc Skinner from the bench, the former England international has netted 10 times – including four FA Cup goals – in all competitions this season.

And when asked about being a ‘super sub’, Williams said: “Of course I’d love to start more games. But for the opposition we face on the day, if the manager has other ideas, that’s the whole point of a team.

“When you are called upon, you deliver and I think I’ve done that. I obviously have the name, a bit like (Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer when he was a super sub.

Williams in action during last month's semi-final against Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)
Williams (left) was in action during last month’s semi-final against Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

“If that’s now where I’m at in my career, how they see me as a player, so be it. I’ve made the best of it and loved every minute of it.”

Williams feels she still has lots more to give in her career, saying: “I’m still playing and giving everything like I’m still in my early 20s. I’ve kept myself fit and healthy.

“I like the fact I’m the age I am and still getting those numbers. I just see it as a challenge and I think that’s what keeps me going. Whatever I’ve got this year – well, next year I’m going to try to beat that.”

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