It is now the fifth year of the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley, and we’ve been to all five. Things have changed, though it is still a fun, affordable day out.
The Women’s FA Cup Final 2019 was on Saturday 4th May 2019. We travelled to Wembley to soak in the atmosphere. Having gone all the other times we knew there would be lots of things to do outside, maybe a chance to meet a player or two and maybe some things to have a look at, just like the previous years.
The Women’s FA Cup Final 2019 was between Manchester City and West Ham United – both Women’s Super League clubs. It was West Ham’s first time in the final, but Man City were always the favourites.
So it was a bit heartbreaking to arrive at Wembley and find it currently resembles a building site. The pre-match entertainment was at a minimum too, the SSE Wildcats Funzone had three things to do. In the past I would have said allow a couple of hours to hang around Wembley. Could it be that those days are over? We got through the entertainment in a very short time.
There was no mention of the upcoming Women’s World Cup, other than advertisements for the game in Brighton next month. This would have been the perfect time to tie it in with something.
It felt like it was more about overpriced food and drink, unfortunately. Wembley publicised an event at Wembley Boxpark. That seemed to be a giant pub with a stage. I asked if anything was happening and was told “we’re showing the game” (umm…. we’re at the game?!) so we didn’t stick around.
Outside Wembley you need to allow more time now as well. There is a bag restriction; so nothing larger than A4 sized (so don’t bother shopping in the Wembley Outlet beforehand; although they have a Haribo shop). Then there are the queues. We were eventually routed from the main Club Wembley entrance to the Bobby Moore entrance, and got to our block. We had great views and lovely comfy padded seats too.
As neutrals (as usual), we watched the game cheering for football. This year’s attendance wasn’t as high as last year, but it still felt like there were more people there. Having said that, behind the goal nearest to us there were a lot of empty seats; lesser so the Man City end.
The elusive goal happened in the second half, and there was relief on our side – it was a good game, and it was great to see the players, but if things had gone into extra time it could have ended up being a long night. As it was, I commented to Shaun that I was sure the last couple of games ended up being won by a single goal – and Man City took that (I’m sure) as some kind of psychic command to score another couple! The game ended 3-0, Man City were presented with the FA Cup, and everyone left easily. Especially the West Ham Supporters who left pretty quickly, no longer blowing bubbles.
The Women’s FA Cup Final has become part of our annual routine, and so much of that was the build up. Maybe they couldn’t do as much because Wembley is a building site, and will soon disappear behind tower blocks. It’s a shame, I always enjoyed getting face paints, even the cardboard clapping things from last year were a nice touch. There were feeble attempts in the crowd at mexican waves, but the heart there this year.
We’ll still go – at only £7.50 for adults and kids going free it’s a great reasonable day out. I say reasonable as once you’re inside you’re paying Wembley prices. How much food or drink can you fit into an A4 bag? (answer: packs of Haribo and a bread roll, pretty much). The 2019 Women’s FA Cup Final cost us the grand total of £15 for the three of us so we can’t complain.
We had an added bonus of being sat by the boxes which Phil Neville (England Women’s Manager) and Kelly Smith (ex Arsenal Ladies) were sat, so H got a couple more autographs. Within the SSE Wildcats Funzone there was the chance to have photobooth photos taken, and the chance to score a goal and measure the speed. They also had a small unattended stand where you could make a small paper banner.
The 2019 Women’s FA Cup Final game itself was great, don’t get me wrong. That’s why we’ll always go back. It was great seeing West Ham there rather than the usual teams – and maybe one year Tottenham Women will get their chance too. That’s the beauty of the FA Cup. You never know who it will be from year to year, so there are always surprises along the way.
2018’s review is here.