Arsenal have been busy in the transfer window but Alex Scott believes they already had a star in the making among their ranks in the form of Milton Keynes midfielder Leah Williamson.
Third-place finishers in FA Women’s Super League 1 last season, the Gunners have bolstered their ranks this campaign with a number of signings including Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, Germany’s Josephine Henning, Holland’s Danielle van de Donk and not forgetting England’s very own Fara Williams.
They appear to have hit the ground running too with the team already making it through to the semi-final of the SSE Women’s FA Cup where they will face Sunderland on Sunday April 17.
But Scott, who came through the ranks at Arsenal herself, knows the whole squad is packed with talent, including long-serving Gunner Williamson.
The 19-year-old former Ousedale School pupil joined the club’s centre of excellence at the age of nine and already has a Women’s FA Cup winners medal to her name while she has appeared for England from Under-15 to Under-23 level.
And Scott believes the story is only just beginning for young midfielder Williamson.
“We signed a lot of players in the off-season and for us it was massive to make sure that we got everyone in and gelled really well,” she said.
“Even though we are bringing in top talent from abroad, there’s always that space if you’re good enough on the youth teams that you will be given your opportunity,” she said.
“Singling out home-grown talent like Leah Williamson, who has also come through Arsenal’s youth system and has earned her spot in the first team.
“She is going to go on for many years in an Arsenal shirt and hopefully one day maybe go on to captain the side.”
Either Manchester City or reigning champions Chelsea lie in wait for the winners of the tie between Arsenal and Sunderland with the final being contested on May 14.
The FA and SSE have announced that all children will be able to attend this year’s final at Wembley Stadium for free, although Scott knows she can’t afford to get too carried away with dreams of a Wembley appearance with a big semi-final first up.
“For the SSE Women’s FA Cup to be back at Wembley – it is a showcase game and it always has been, to walk out at Wembley in an Arsenal shirt would be amazing,” she added.
“But we’re not there yet, we need to make sure we deal with the semi-final, but it would be a dream to get to Wembley.
“We’re just happy with the home draw, if you asked any of the girls, they were just hoping and praying for the home draw.
“No team is easy and with Sunderland, I think they showed in the league last year, they are a team not to be taken lightly, they have got a really talented bunch of girls there.
To buy your tickets to The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final, visit www.thefa.com