Emma Plewa has joined illustrious company by landing the SSE Women’s FA Cup player of the round – and the Crawley Wasps striker admits it’s the pinnacle of her club career to-date.
The 28-year-old forward dazzled as Crawley breezed through the FA Cup first round with a 6-0 win over QPR Development in November, hitting a hat-trick in the process as Wasps reached round two for only the second time in their history.
The former Wales international, who balances her time between scoring goals for Crawley and working as a personal trainer in Wallington, was blown away by receiving the award.
Plewa, who is currently on the sidelines after suffering a foot injury following her FA Cup heroics – admits winning the gong will always hold special memories.
“It’s quite an honour, it feels very special to win the player of the round award,” said the former Chelsea player.
“It’s a great feeling to score a hat-trick in the FA Cup. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates that’s for sure. I am proud and will always hold this award as a special moment in my career.
“We’ve been working hard all season, the girls always put in blinding performances and the work ethic is always there, so we always know pre-game what the focus is and what we need to do to get the result.
“I think on the day it’s just down to all the girls turning up and giving 100 per cent and knowing and believing in what we are doing.”
Thanks to the endeavour of the Brecon-born winger, Wasps secured a spot in the second round against FA Women’s National League South side Chichester City to set up a thrilling Sussex derby.
Crawley, who will face Coventry United in the third round if they are successful in their rearranged tie with Chichester following a postponement – but Paul Walkers’ side will have to do it without their star striker Plewa after the Brecon High School alumnus devastatingly fractured her foot.
“I think playing a team in the league above will be a brilliant challenge for the girls and I am confident that they will do well, and I am more than confident that we can do well,” she said.
“It’s always good to make some history and it will be great for the development of the club to reach the third round.
“It shows how much the backing of the managers and the time that they have given, for us to get to that point.”
Manager Paul Walker was thrilled to see his star striker Emma Plewa recognised for her goal scoring heroics.
“It was a super performance from Emma. She joined us at the beginning of the season and her performances are getting better and better,” he said.
“The experience and the quality that she brings to the side is game changing.
“She’s part of a very good side, but when you have got the quality of players such as Emma in those offensive wide areas, you are going to cause problems.
“It’s a shame that she won’t be back for the next game,” he said.
“In 14 competitive games, we have won all 14, and someone dug out the statistics that we are one of two sides in the pyramid that have that record alongside Blackburn Rovers.
“It’s a big Sussex derby and I know that the girls are all really looking forward to it. It’s a real blow not having Emma, but we have a depth of squad that ensures we can be successful in that game.”
As the energy behind women’s football, SSE’s ambition is to support girls of all ages in England, helping them join in football from grassroots to the elite level. For more information on SSE’s sponsorships and activities visit sse.co.uk