When she was growing up kicking a football about with her brothers on the streets of Hengelo in Holland, Marthe Munsterman never thought she would play in the FA Women’s Cup.
Fast forward 10 years and she is pushing hard to earn her place against FA Women’s Premier League South side Lewes in the fifth round of the competition at the brilliantly-named Dripping Pan on Sunday.
Having played the final minutes of the 3-1 win over Bristol City in the previous round - replacing Megan Finnigan as the clock ticked round to 90 - former FC Twente midfielder Munsterman is hoping to play a bigger role against the Rookettes.
And, despite her limited experience of one of the world’s most iconic competitions, the 24-year-old is well aware of the pitfalls that lie in wait should the Blue Girls stray from their usual professional approach.
“I never thought I would have the chance to play in the FA Cup,” Munsterman told evertonfc.com. “There wasn’t that chance to play professional football in Holland when I was growing up. Only when I turned 14 did it start to become a possibility.
“The FA Cup is a special competition and it really doesn’t matter who you play in it – it’s cup football, so it’s very different. I know plenty about that because for about three years straight at Twente, we would win the league but we would be knocked out in the first round of the Dutch Cup!
“Because we thought the opposition were easy, we just turned up and thought we would deal with them. You can never underestimate your opponents in any cup competition.
“We know Lewes will be excited about their opportunity to play a WSL 1 club. But, on the other hand, we have just beaten Reading, so we have got a lot of confidence. This is a big chance for us as well – we want to win the FA Cup.”
Munsterman has had to stay patient in her bid for first-team action since moving to England in the summer. With Angharad James, Liv Chance and Finnigan forming a solid understanding in the middle of the park of late, she has had to settle for a place on the bench.
But Munsterman could benefit should Head Coach Andy Spence decide to rotate his squad for the tie with Lewes, who ply their trade in the third tier of women’s football.
“If I’m selected, I want to go out and enjoy the game, and not have to worry about showing what I can do,” she reasons. “You can’t show everything in one game. I’m training hard every day and giving my best. If I have the chance to play on Sunday, I just want to go out, win the game and just enjoy it.
“Playing with a smile on your face is the most important thing you can do. When you start playing football when you are young, it is because you love it.
"I started playing on the streets with my brothers and sometimes you have to just remind yourself of where you came from. I’ll be doing that on Sunday and doing everything to help the team win if I can.”