Kelly Bailie has revealed that Glentoran Women’s impressive cup record is all down to a strong winning mentality.
When the Glens start their quest to retain the Electric Ireland Women's Challenge Cup in an all-Premiership clash with Derry City Women tomorrow night (Friday) Kelly will be trying to get her hands on the trophy for a record ninth time.
Having been involved in all eight of Glentoran’s victories in the competition there is no doubt that the experienced former international knows what it takes to win when the pressure is on and being able to perform in do or die contests is what it’s all about.
“In cup games you have to be at your best and you have to hope that things go your way,” said Kelly.
“If it goes wrong you can’t claw it back.
“Going into each game the emphasis from us as a team is that it’s a cup final – every round is like a final because if you lose you’re out.
“We try to maintain that as much as possible and hope that we can go all the way again.”
The Glens’ cup credentials go beyond their record tally of Irish Cups. In the 2019 season – the last to be fully completed – they won all three knockout competitions.
Even after playing for almost 25 years Kelly remains as hungry as every to win even more.
“The Irish Cup is a competition that you want to win no matter how many times you have won it before,” she said.
“I think it gets sweeter every time. You can win something once, but to do it multiple times it’s a proud feeling and I think when you do that as a team no matter how many times you win something you want to win it again because of the feeling and because of how important the cup competitions are.”
The tie of the round sees Women’s Premiership leaders Cliftonville Ladies face Linfield Ladies just four days after the Reds won 5-2 in a pulsating league contest.
At least four teams from the NIWFA structure will make the quarter-finals, with the most intereting tie involving those outside the top flight being the Lisburn derby between Lisburn Ladies, who are favourites to win the Championship and neighbours Lisburn Rangers Ladies.
Electric Ireland Women's Challenge Cup fixtures: Carnmoney Ladies v Camlough Rovers Ladies, Cliftonville Ladies v Linfield Ladies, East Belfast Ladies v Crusaders Strikers, Glentoran Women v Derry City Women, Killen Rangers Ladies v Sion Swifts Ladies, Lisburn Ladies v Lisburn Rangers, Mid Ulster Ladies v Belfast Celtic Ladies, St James Swifts’ Ladies v Crewe United Ladies (all 7.30pm).