Phoebe Warner enjoys a ‘big test’ for West Brom Women in the FA Cup clash with Brighton as the team dreams of excitement
PHOEBE WARNER is enjoying life at West Brom after the “emotional rollercoaster ride” of watching her former club survive a fear of liquidation.
Today, the 22-year-old midfield jewel is hoping to help the Baggies stage an upset in the FA Cup fourth round when they play Brighton.
In December 2021, Warner was recovering from surgery on an ankle injury she sustained in a training session while at Coventry United Women.
This month, the Women’s Championship fighters made headlines as they were on the verge of collapse.
And in January they were saved from voluntary liquidation by local businessman Lewis Taylor.
Last summer, Coventry heroically won their battle to be relegated from Tier Two before Turner sealed a move to West Brom last July.
It was a step where she started her second spell on the third level side.
Warner, who balances her playing career with her job at the youth charity Powered by CAN, said of this time: “It was particularly difficult for me.
“I had just had ankle surgery and (my ankle) was in a cast at the time and I was on crutches.
“When my former team-mates were looking for other clubs, I wasn’t able to because I couldn’t talk to clubs and train with them
“And then the club was taken over and it was like an emotional rollercoaster from there until the end (of the season) up to that final game.
“It was like a big escape that happened that year, which I just think is crazy looking back on it.”
Fast forward to that tenure, a fully fit Warner was in fine form for West Brom.
Her goalscoring record this season includes a hat-trick in an 8-0 win over Lichfield in the FA Cup third round last November.
The midfielder, who began her football journey at the Wolves Center of Excellence aged 10, has thrived under the tutelage of head coach Jenny Sugarman.
The player met Sugarman during a stint at Aston Villa, a club Warner climbed to the championship with ahead of their 2020 WSL promotion.
She credits the coach with instilling confidence in a third-rate Baggies team that is currently tenth in the Women’s National League North Division.
Warner adds: “For me, Jenny is the perfect football manager because she instills confidence and trust in us.
“She was an important factor in me going to West Brom because she was also my coach at Villa.
“And with Dave Lawrence, our director of football, and the people who work at West Brom, there’s a lot of ambition there.
“I really believe that one day the club will be in and compete in the Women’s Super League because they have a structure.”
WSL dreams aside, Warner and her team-mates will be focused on the FA Cup task ahead as they take on Brighton at their home in Keys Park.
Today at 2:00 p.m. they meet a team from Albion, currently second from bottom in the WSL and finding a foothold under their new boss Jens Scheuer.
For Warner, the Baggies’ game against the Seagulls brought back fond memories of the year the team faced a star-studded side from Birmingham in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 2017.
Back then, the 16-year-old midfielder came on as a second-half substitute against a side from Birmingham that featured WSL aces like Ann-Katrin Berger, Jess Carter and European champion Ellen White.
Warner added: “I remembered seeing those players on the pitch and going ‘wow’.
“The good thing about the FA Cup is that you get to play against top players that you adored when you were young.”
While West Brom will go into the game as underdogs, Warner and their teammates want to enjoy the competition and put on a show for their fans.
The midfielder added: “This is a huge game for us. It’s going to be a great test because we know they’re going to be high-level competition.
“This is a good measure for us to look at and see where we stand.
“And it’s the magic of the FA Cup that anything can happen and we will believe in it very much. We just have to go out and deliver.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7253513/phoebe-warner-west-brom-womens-fa-cup/ Phoebe Warner enjoys a ‘big test’ for West Brom Women in the FA Cup clash with Brighton as the team dreams of excitement