THE Bradford City Disability FC Women's team have come a long way since being formed at the start of last year, but two cup final defeats in a row have stoked a fire in their bellies ahead of 2020.

Having begun life in January 2018, they found themselves in the FA People's Cup Final by that April, losing 6-0 to Aston Villa, who picked up their second successive crown in the Female Disability category.

It was a much closer affair when they reached the 2019 People's Cup final, but that only added to the agony, as they slipped to a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat against Plymouth Warriors.

Their cup exploits saw them win the Amateur Team of the Year prize at the 2019 Bradford Sports Awards.

Speaking at the launch of the 2020 awards, City’s manager Jaimie Dorward said: “It was a significant enough achievement in the first year, as we’d only started in the January and we were in the final by the April.

"But to do it two years running, with the competition only getting harder as more and more entrants come into it, it was such an amazing thing the ladies did.

"They were the team to beat as well, they were particularly difficult to face going through the rounds, and they really wanted to win. It was a bit of a heartbreak moment (the final) to be fair."

Speaking about how it all began for the City Disability team, Dorward added: "We started out with the one team, a mixed ability one.

"But we've now got two women's disability teams, higher and lower ability. We've also got an U12s girls team, who've come from the (SSE) Wildcats inclusive sessions that we've run.

"To see all those girls, all those women, with disabilities coming together and playing football, it's just fantastic."

Team member Louise Lawrence added: "Socially, it's really good, as even though there's a lot of members, we're quite a close club.

"We'll do social events outside of the football and we have little Facebook groups where we talk to each other. It's about the community side of it.

"We like to say it's our football family, and it's like having a bunch of sisters for me, playing with them week in, week out. And if somebody's not quite right, you pick them up and carry on."

Speaking about where playing for the club had taken her, Katy Greenwood said: "We've been to Holland loads of times now, made friends abroad and played teams there. We're hoping to go again next year. It's one of the best things about being part of the team."

Lawrence added: "We've also played down on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. We've been all over, to St George's Park too, so you're up and down the country, getting opportunities you wouldn't normally get."

Asked what she enjoyed about the experience, young player Louise Hudson enthused: "Football. I love coming here to Valley Parade to see all the teams playing. I really like Clayton Donaldson."