Hope - Reserves are aiming high this season
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:21PM BST, Friday, 02 September 2016
The Charlton women’s reserve team plan on regaining the FA Women’s Premier League South title they won two year ago, as they prepare for the start of their season this weekend.
The Addicks’ second string host Southampton Saints in their season opener on Sunday (4 September) at Sparrows Lane.
Charlton won the FAWPL Southern reserve section two years ago, finishing nine points ahead of runners up West Ham United, but could only finish a disappointing fourth last term
But full-back Hope Nash believes her side now has the hunger and determination that comes with a young squad and that they are capable of coming out on top once again.
She said: “Whatever we go into we’re going to win – I think that’s the mentality we need going into the league. We didn’t do very well last year but my aim this year is to win it and to win the cups we go into – win everything.
“It’s always good to develop players, but it’s always good to have that drive to win, that ambition to do well.
“You’re always going to come up against teams that can hold onto the ball but you’re going to have teams that will come up and fight for the ball as well. The best thing is to have a team that can come up and do both.
“That’s what we had two years ago and that’s why we won it, because we could play against any team - we could play them off the park and fight them off the park
“I think that’s what we have this year as well. We’ve got a really young squad but that’s always positive; we’ve got loads of energy and the players are all willing to learn - I believe that we can win [the league].”
The reserves are under new guidance once again, with Kris Korsachki taking over from Riteesh Mishra, who has become first team assistant manager.
Korsachki is the third reserve team manager in as many years but, far from being a headwind, Nash says playing under different managers should be viewed as positive for her and her side’s progression as footballers.
“Every manager’s got different styles,” she explains, “so I think we’re just adapting to the way he wants us to play but I think that’s good for young players because you’re always going to get new managers so it’s good to be around different managers and the way they play and their style.”
Vice captain last year, Nash was promoted to skipper in the pre-season after her predecessor Alex Baker stepped in to become the number one goalkeeper for the first team.
Still only 18 years of age, it is a lot of responsibility, but Nash believes she, along with those of her team mates that have been around for more than a year, have matured as players and will step into their roles as senior players with ease.
“I think the girls who were the young ones last year have now stepped up and are now the older ones, like myself,” she explained.
“We’ve taken to that well, we’re looking forward to helping the younger ones, and help each other as well because we’re all still learning – some of us are 17, 18 and we’re classed as the older ones in this team.
“It’s good to take on that responsibility straight away. It’s all about helping each other, teaching each other in this league I think.
“It’s a great honour [to be captain] but I think everyone needs to take charge on the pitch – I think that’s the best thing. I think all players should have the right to say what they think, if it’s not going right or if they think it’s a good game, I think they have the right to voice that and tell the team.”