Barnsley Women’s FC owner Steve Maddock believes Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur is a big step on the club’s journey that, in the next three years, will see them in the top two divisions and playing in a history-making 3,000-capacity stadium.

When Maddock bought the club two years ago, he aimed to have the Reds in the Championship – the second tier – within five years and, with the team currently top of the fourth tier, he believes they are on schedule to do so. Off the field, they have submitted plans to the council to build the first stadium in the country for women and girls – a £4-5million project in Kingstone. 

Maddock said: “We should be in the Championship in the next three years and in our new stadium. “It will take a lot of work and money but we can do it. It will be the first facility of its kind in the UK if not the world. Why can’t Barnsley be the first to have something like that?  We will get there. I have given up a job to do this full-time because I believe in it so much and so do all the staff and players. I live for it every day of my life because I can see the end goal.

“Everything is progressing as well as we could possibly hope for with the stadium. We are working with architects HKS who built World Cup stadiums in Qatar. They have done about £70,000 work for us for free because they believe in us and they see value for their company in this project. We are coming up with a business plan. It will be a community facility and one that sustains itself financially. 

“The council won’t give that land to somebody who hasn’t thought about every aspect. But we believe, with our board of directors, that we can make it profitable and make it a big success for the town. I think we will get an answer in the next six months and there will be something on that land next year.” 

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Maddock believes owning their own ground is essential. He said: “Chorley, who play in our league, have just been told by the men’s team that they can’t use the ground anymore halfway through the season. Barnsley Football Club have a lot of youth teams who they are developing and we are something that has come along in the last few years and, at the moment, they can’t accommodate our training schedule and matches in the way we want for the future.” 

The women’s club broke away from Barnsley FC last summer but are still based at Oakwell. Maddock said: “We have gone our separate way from Barnsley Football Club but we still support them and we want them to do really really well. We are a growing brand just like women’s football in general. “The people of Barnsley are getting behind us, the businesses and the general public. If we are successful, I know they will get behind us.

“I know we’re a million miles away from the men’s club which is a shining light in a lot of people’s lives.  That is what they live for and it brings a lot of hope.  We just want to add to the sporting scene in Barnsley and bring hope to people as well.” 

The Reds have made £4,000 from their cup run so far and will receive another £500 if they lose on Sunday and £2,000 if they win which Maddock believes they can. He said: “It’s a no-lose game for us. Tottenham will probably underestimate us and make some changes because they think they are playing just a team like Barnsley. I wanted a home tie so we could get a big crowd of about 500 but the girls wanted to play away in London against a Super League side and it has created a lot of interest. 

“We banned them from talking about it before our last league game at Newcastle but, as soon as they won that 4-0, they were very excited about the FA Cup on the way back. History is there to be re-written. I can remember great FA Cup shocks like Wrexham beating Newcastle and Sutton beating Coventry.  This is the women’s game but it’s still the FA Cup and it means just as much to the players. The girls are so together at the moment, they are a team, and anything is possible.”

Should the match be drawn, it will go to extra-time and penalties, if needed, rather than a replay.