Avilla - I can't wait for the season to get going
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:48PM BST, Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Avilla Bergin is excited by the prospect of linking up with the Charlton women’s team’s ‘clinical’ strike force of Kit Graham and Gemma Shepherd, after joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur recently.
Bergin is no stranger to Charlton, having faced them seven times in her two seasons in North London with Spurs coming out on top just twice, so is in a good place to assess her new side.
After putting pen to paper, she said: “We meet them in every cup final it seems so I know [Charlton] quite well on the pitch!
“They’re always clinical, that’s the first thing – they’ll take their chances, which sometimes [Spurs] were guilty of not doing in the past.
“They’re always organised, so a lot of communication at the back, which makes it a bit frustrating to play against them, and they work hard, which is what you need to do at this level and that’s why they’ve been so successful.”
Winger Bergin, who has represented Northern Ireland 13 times, netted an impressive 18 goals in 39 FA Women’s Premier League (FAWPL) South appearances for Spurs and will be hoping to contribute both goals and assists to a Charlton side that have scored 159 goals in their previous 44 FAWPL games.
88 of those goals were scored by either Graham or Shepherd (FAWPL top scorers in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively) – a tantalising prospect for any wide player.
Describing herself as a player, the 24-year-old said: “I play either on the wing or up top and I like to get at full backs and defenders and run at them.
“I like combination play so I’m looking forward to playing with the likes of Kit and Gemma, who are always up there with the top goal scorers in the league. If I can get in amongst the goals with them or more importantly assist both of them then that would be good.
“They link up very well and there’s a lot more to both of their games than just goal scoring, which is really impressive so it’s exciting to get playing with both of them as well as the rest of the girls in the team.
“I can’t wait to get going now – luckily I haven’t had too long out from football because I had European qualifiers for Northern Ireland recently but I’ve had a week or two now so I’m ready to get going again.”
Bergin linked link up with her new team mates for the first time when they begin pre-season training at the end of June, and she has some big ambitions over the coming season.
With Charlton finishing second in last term’s FAWPL South, just two points behind eventual winners Brighton & Hove Albion, Bergin hopes she can help them go one step further this time around.
And, after a successful last campaign with Spurs, who lifted both the Ryman and FAWPL Cup trophies, beating Cardiff in the final of the latter, even more silverware would not go amiss.
“I had been at Spurs for two years and I just felt now’s the right time to move on to a new club and a new challenge,” she explained.
“I feel like right now Charlton are a bit closer to winning the league and if I can help them do that then all the better. If we could pick up a couple of cups along the way, that would be perfect.
“It was nice to end on a high last year beating Cardiff and that cup final was something that I’ll never forget. Hopefully I’ll be able to have similar memories with Charlton now when I get going.
“From a more personal perspective, I just want to fit in well and hit the ground running after a good pre-season. If I can get a couple of goals and get quite a few assists, I’ll be happy to help out however I can.”