Marc Skinner highlights ‘little storylines’ in Manchester United’s FA Cup triumph

As he took to the press conference room at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, accompanied by the Adobe Women’s FA Cup trophy, Marc Skinner took time to reflect on the narratives that have been highlighted by their 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Ella Toone opened the scoring in the first half before the floodgates swung open after the break, with Rachel Williams nodding home from a set-piece before Lucía García concluded proceedings with a brace.

Skinner joked that ‘the [Women’s] FA Cup has now got a history like the men’s in terms of a plasterer scoring a winner!’

Williams’ story is one that serves to highlight the developments made in the professionalisation of women’s football in recent years. When playing for Birmingham City twelve years ago, the forward feared being unable to play in a UEFA Women’s Champions League fixture due to being needed on site. The club ultimately offered to pay what she would have earned as a plasterer, allowing her to partake in the European clash.

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Skinner added: ‘Do you remember all that rubbish we got when we signed her? She’s turned that around, hasn’t she!’ She’s a fantastic person and there’s also a really great story for Tooney [Ella Toone] – her goal and what it means, but for Rachel Williams, it’s another FA Cup story and I’m really proud of her.’

Toone is one of a handful of players remaining in the Manchester United squad who were signed by Casey Stoney ahead of the club’s first season in 2018/19. The Red Devils won the FA Women’s Championship at the first time of asking, and Skinner commented that seeing those same players triumph at Wembley ‘feels special.’

‘I saw them having a photo, the players from the inception, and I thought it’s just a special moment. You forget those narratives, you forget those little storylines – the Rachel Williams storyline, Ella Toone [wearing the] iconic number 7 for Manchester United and then you realise all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. The people that have been here and won the Championship have now added a moment of history for the club, and it feels special.’

‘In all honesty, it just feels like a really positive space to be in,’ Skinner added, playing down Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s absence at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. ‘I’ve just been really excited by the energy that it [INEOS takeover] is driving internally and I think it won’t be long before hopefully we’re in talks about the kind of elite winning, especially in the women’s team, that we’ve started now. It’s exciting, I’m really excited and I know what’s coming and it’s exciting times to be a Manchester United fan.’

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