Manchester United women are making history this weekend as they step out at Wembley for their first final since reforming in 2018.
However, it is not the first final that some of the players and manager Marc Skinner have experienced.
Skinner led Birmingham to an FA Cup final previously and was asked about his experience when speaking with the BBC this morning.
“What we got wrong at Birmingham was making it a massive event and more than it should have been,” he said.
“Everyone knows it’s a big deal and I’m really looking forward to it. But it was naivety. We put quotes on the wall from players and families so it became an emotional event rather than a clear business-like event.”
Skinner feels like he’s learnt from that experience, “You can celebrate afterwards if you win the cup and be as emotional as you want. There will be enough emotions in the game so we need to save it.”
Skinner is not the only Red to have experience in finals both domestic and international.
According to data experts from OLBG, stats prove Manchester United’s squad perform better compared to FA Cup final rivals Chelsea in finals on average.
They have worked out the winning percentages of every player in both squads and also the average win percentage for both teams.
Chelsea’s squad has an average win percentage of 54.2% in finals, Manchester United’s squad has an average win percentage of 55.7%.
Mary Earps, Vilde Boe Risa, Ella Toone and Alessia Russo have won every single final they have played in.
The Red Devils just edge out Chelsea, but the Blues have more experience in their squad as more players have actually played in finals in their squad.
Sam Kerr has lost more finals in her career than any player in either squad, collecting seven runners-up medals from 15 finals in her career so far, but no player has played in this many.
Despite these statistics, United are very much the underdogs with Chelsea having won the FA Cup four times previously.
“This will be different,” Skinner said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if you want to pick a favourite, then Chelsea should be put on that mantle because of the fact they have been here before and done this before. But the reality is we have a team of rebels that want to make sure that won’t be the fact.”
He spoke on the progress the team has made in the past five years as they sit top of the WSL at the same time as preparing for Sunday’s final.
“We’re maybe slightly ahead but nothing we’re not planning for. If it moves ahead then that’s brilliant but I want it to be sustained.”
He continued, “That is my plan over the summer with our recruitment and how we go, it’s about making it sustainable so we’re not just a flash in the pan.”
“I’m really happy with our progression because you can see it in the performances and the statistics. Being at Manchester United though, we want to win. We are putting in the foundations for that. That’s where the pride comes from.”
Kick off is scheduled for 14.30 on Sunday.