Women's Challenge Cup: Tasmin McCarter wants young Sion Swifts squad to 'embrace' opportunity

Sion Swifts defender Tasmin McCarter has urged her young team-mates to "embrace" the opportunity to reach the Women's Challenge Cup final on Friday.

Last year's beaten finalists will face holders Glentoran in a repeat of last year's decider at Stangmore Park.

"We want our younger players to enjoy it, football is there to be enjoyed," said centre-back McCarter.

"As a player you want to be in these positions, playing the bigger teams and getting to the later stages of cups."

Sion reached the last four stage by defeating Mid Ulster Ladies in round two and then seeing off Crusaders 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

They lost 2-1 to the Glens in last year's final, having tasted success by winning the League Cup earlier in the 2022 campaign.

Swifts won the Challenge Cup in 2017 but the long-serving McCarter knows they face a tough challenge to halt the progress of Women's Premiership leaders Glentoran, who have collected the trophy a record 10 times.

"We were on a good run and then we came up against the bigger teams, losing to Cliftonville in the League Cup final, then to Crusaders and Glentoran in the league," explained McCarter.

"We have to pick ourselves up again after that run of losing games, we have to bounce back and go again.

"We know how good a team Glentoran are. In that sense it will be similar to facing Cliftonville, they are two teams with a lot of quality and it's harder to compete with them.

"It's going to be a tough challenge. They have quite a lot of internationals but that's what you are up against.

"We'll probably not have a lot of possession of the ball, probably more defending than anything, but we'll go out and give it our all."

League champions Cliftonville will aim to stay on course to lift a third trophy this season when they face Lisburn Rangers Ladies in Friday's other semi-final.

In addition to their League Cup success, the Reds have also collected the County Antrim Cup.