Women's Team

Hemp: I’d always dreamed of playing in a Manchester Derby

Hemp: I’d always dreamed of playing in a Manchester Derby
Lauren Hemp says she is still thrilled by the prospect of playing in a women’s Manchester Derby.

City and United meet on Saturday in the first FA Women’s Super League encounter of the season, locking horns at Leigh Sports Village at 13:30 UK time.

With the game broadcast live on BBC One during the men’s international break, the fixture provides the opportunity to once again shine the spotlight on the women’s game.

Since the Reds’ promotion to the FA WSL in the 2019/20 season, there have been six Derby clashes – City victorious in three – and Hemp says the emergence of local rivalry is a positive step for the sport.

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“It means a lot to me,” she said. “When I was younger, I always dreamed of playing in a Manchester Derby.

“It always means more when you play against local rivals and the Derby is a massive sign of the growth of women’s football, which is growing year on year.

“With the TV deals this season, we’ve been given a platform and it’s important we take the chance to prove to people why they should come and watch our games.

“It will be a great occasion. Hopefully, we can attract many fans to come and support us.”

PFA Young Player of the Year Hemp was on the scoresheet the last time the two sides met, doubling the advantage in a 3-0 victory at the Academy Stadium in February.

WATCH: Match highlights: City 3-0 United

City are unbeaten in the league against the Reds but have only emerged victorious from Leigh Sports Village once – in the 2019/20 Women’s FA Cup.

Boasting the bragging rights heading into the clash, the 21-year-old asserts her side are desperate to retain them, especially for our travelling fans, as Gareth Taylor’s side seek a much-needed return to winning ways.

“They haven’t beaten us yet in the league and that gives us an extra boost going into the game,” she declared.

“Having fans back will definitely add to the occasion. Our fans are our twelfth player and they give us that boost to keep working hard until the 90th minute.

“We approach every game with the same mindset and the same drive. We want to win and we’re all working hard in training so we can put it into practice in games.

“We’re really looking forward to the Derby and hopefully, we’ll get the result we deserve.”

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