Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:18AM BST, Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Gemma Shepherd is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces when the Charlton women’s team take on West Ham United at The Valley in a friendly on Thursday – KO 7.15pm.
Shepherd left the Hammers to join Charlton in the summer and has had a massive impact, scoring 28 goals in 27 games in all competitions, one of those them the winning goal in the London FA Women’s Senior Cup final.
And now the attacker is relishing the prospect of playing at The Valley against her old club to end what has been an “up and down” season on a good note.
She said: “It’s going to be a bit strange because I was there for about five years but I’m looking forward to it.
“I get to see old faces and hopefully they can see that I’ve moved on and the reasons why I moved. Hopefully we can put in a good performance.
“It’s just fantastic that we get to [play at The Valley] because not a lot of people can say they’ve played at certain stadiums. It’s nice to have a check-list of places you’ve played at.
“I’ve played at a few in my time; I played at Wembley and played at Leicester with West Ham last year or the year before.”
The Addicks have had mixed fortunes this season; the first team won the London Cup, while the reserves had a sensational campaign, culminating in winning the Premier League South title on Sunday.
However the firsts will more than likely finish in a disappointing seventh position in the Premier League National Division but Shepherd foresees a prosperous future.
“Some of the things we have achieved this season I’ve been really proud of; the London Cup, beating Watford in the League Cup, beating Sunderland, the Man City trip – there’s been some fantastic performances,” she added.
“As a team I think it’s fair to say it’s been a bit up and down but personally I think I’ve had a good season.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve only been here a year, I feel like I’ve been here a long time now because everyone has made me feel so welcome.
“It’s been brilliant, I’ve really loved it and I’m just hoping for more of the same next year.
“If you look around at the squad, like in the reserve game I played in on Sunday, we finished with a team full of players who are 17 and it’s a fantastic achievement for them to win the league.”
“It bodes well for us, if we can maintain that sort of spine of senior players I think we can build on it. If we can keep a bit of consistency and we can kick on next year and have a really good season.”
Admission to the game is £3 for adults and £1 concessions.