Gemma nets 100 Charlton goals
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:35AM BST, Friday, 23 September 2016
Gemma Shepherd spoke of her pride at hitting the 100 goals mark for the Charlton women’s team, after a clinical start to the FA Women’s Premier League season.
Shepherd currently tops the FAWPL South goalscoring table with five in three appearances and has supplemented that league form with four goals in one cup match.
Her third in that FAWPL Cup clash with Shanklin LFC was the milestone strike, and she has since added to that tally against Crystal Palace, taking her overall total to 102 goals in just 92 appearances in all competitions for the Addicks.
Shepherd made the move to Charlton from West Ham United in the summer of 2012 and announced her arrival by bagging 28 in her first 27 matches. The following season was tough for the striker as she made the pitch just twice, injuring her anterior cruciate ligament and facing a year on the sidelines.
A long road to recovery has ensued and, despite a few niggling injuries since, she has returned better and stronger than ever, registering 26 goals in the 2014/15 season and 39 last term.
Speaking after her landmark goal, she said: “As a personal milestone, particularly having overcome such a horrific injury, it does mean a lot to me to actually get to that point, particularly with the amount of appearances.
“It’s so mentally tough being out and having to watch, you know what the grind is to be able to get back to a certain standard.
“I’ve got a real love for the club and I’ve got a real loyalty to it so It’s just nice to have achieved it here rather than anywhere else because it’s where I’ve enjoyed playing my football the most.”
In her typically understated manner, Shepherd points out that she has plenty of quality around her, particularly since the addition this summer of Northern Ireland winger Avilla Bergin from Tottenham. Strike partner Kit Graham became the first female Charlton player to hit a century of goals last term and that particular partnership has proved a boon for the club in recent times.
“[That all] makes life easier for me,” Shepherd adds, ‘I just have to be in the right place and it just sort of hits me and goes in!
“I wouldn’t have got to the milestone I got to if I didn’t have the quality around me that I have, past and present.
“As I’ve said before, if I scored no goals all season it wouldn’t bother me. If we won the league I’d be absolutely over the moon – I’d forego scoring; I’d love to set people up.
“On a personal level I’m really chuffed but now I’ve got there it’s kind of peripheral for what it means for the rest of the season.”