Katie & Alice - Reserves looking to maintain that confidence
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:44AM GMT, Friday, 15 November 2013
The Charlton women’s reserve team goes into the second half of their short league season full of confidence and looking to maintain their unbeaten league record against Portsmouth on Sunday.
The Addicks continued their defence of the FA Women’s Premier League South title a fortnight ago, with a long-anticipated victory over local rivals Gillingham.
With the Kent side having inflicted Charlton’s only defeat of the campaign so far, a 4-1 League Cup group stage loss,
Midfielder Katie Hardaker, who rejoined the Addicks from Gills last summer, was pleased with the way her young team mates dealt with the clash, especially having gone one goal down shortly before half time.
Hardaker, 23, said: “There was a lot of emotion going into the game from the last time we played them.
“Obviously there’s history there and there always is going to be with Gillingham because it’s a local derby, but even more so when they beat us in the cup.
“We had to go out and prove a point, play our game and take it to them and not get involved with all the emotional battles, just play football and I think that’s what we did.
“We have got quite a young squad and, being one of the older ones now, I think they dealt with it fantastically. They just got on with it and got their head down and did the job.”
One of those younger players that are coming into their own this term is 18-year-old full back Alice Singyard.
Alice was part of that title-winning side from last season, as was Katie, and has started this season on fire, bagging three goals in six games so far.
She admits her confidence is sky-high right now and hopes the team can keep putting in the performances needed to retain their trophy.
“After last season we need to go out and do exactly the same and prove a point that we are the best team in the league,” she said.
“I think this season the league is still as tough, we just have to play like we did last season and use that experience to help us higher up the league this season.
“We’ve settled as a team now, we’ve been together for quite a while now and we are just starting to gel and play altogether and that shows because we are winning.”
On her own performances, she added: “I have never scored that many goals in a season here so it’s nice. My confidence so high at the moment and I feel like I am playing better than I did last season.”
The first game of the season saw the Addicks travel to the south coast and breeze past Portsmouth 6-0, so they will be hoping for a repeat at their new Sparrow’s Farm, University of Greenwich, home.
Despite the flying start to the campaign that gave them, Hardaker acknowledges that, as a reserve team, this season will be about developing the young talent within.
“It’s great to see the younger ones coming up from the development squad and they are pushing the older ones on as well - we are having to step up our game.
“Everyone’s putting in a shift at training and everyone is committed to coming training and turning up.
“I think that plays a big part going into the games and we can take what we have done in training and put it into our games and we have great coaches so we are able to do that.
“They can work on specific things that we are doing wrong to put right – we aren’t perfect in every game but it is a learning curve, especially for the younger ones.”