Chelsea Women have been crowned Women’s Super League winners and Women’s FA Cup winners in recent years with one domestic trophy eluding them, but former player Claire Rafferty believes the Blues can finally end their wait for the Continental Tyres League Cup this season.
The Blues currently sit top of Group D following a home victory against West Ham United and away wins at Crystal Palace and Lewes, and entertain London rivals Tottenham Hotspur under the lights at Kingsmeadow this evening.
Tickets for the 7pm kick-off are just £3 for adults and £1 for juniors (under 20) and seniors (over 65).Chelsea legend Rafferty spent 11 years with the Blues between 2007 and 2018 and during that time she twice won the Women’s FA Cup and FA Women’s Super League, but there was to be no silverware success in the Continental Tyres League Cup.She says: ‘At the beginning of every season it would be our ambition to win the Continental Cup but I think with us always being in the Champions League and having a good FA Cup run, it was always quite difficult to compete in all four competitions.‘It’s been something that we have always wanted to win but we’ve always kind of fallen short.‘This season, without the Champions League, I’m sure it’s a cup that they will be aspiring to win because without the Champions League games they’ve got a little bit more time to focus on the Continental Cup and it will be nice to get that one in the cupboard as well.’
Now in a full-time role as partnership sales manager at the club, Rafferty says newly-promoted WSL side Spurs will be a stern test for the Blues but expects Emma Hayes’ side to come out on top in the London derby.
‘I’ve seen Spurs in action a few times and I’ve been quite surprised with their ability to manage the game, considering they are new to the league. They’ve done very well and I don’t think people have expected them to be so organised and tenacious as they have been.
‘They’ve got Becky Spencer and Gemma Davison who were previously at Chelsea, so they’ve got a few experienced WSL players and they’ve also recruited quite well so they will be a tough team to play.
‘When teams play Chelsea, they always want to beat us so they always up their game and so I feel it will be a difficult one.
‘It’s a new rivalry because they are obviously new to this league but even when we would play them when they were in the league below, the games always had that little bit of a bite to them with it being a London derby.’
On Sunday the Blues entertained a record crowd of 4,790 at Kingsmeadow when they edged Manchester United 1-0 in the Women’s Super League.
Tickets for tonight’s clash against Tottenham are still available to buy and are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for juniors (aged under 20) and seniors (aged over 65) and can be purchased on the gate.