Leigh aiming to climb the League
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:50AM GMT, Thursday, 16 January 2014
After working her way through the ranks, Leigh Houlihan hopes she can keep her first-team place and help the Charlton womenís teamís results improve in 2014.
The right back joined the Addicks from West Ham United back in October, initially playing twice for the newly-formed development team and once for the reserve squad.
After impressing there, she got her chance in the first-team away League Cup game versus Lewes in November. Her performance in Sussex was enough to persuade manager Stuart Weston to give the 19-year-old her league debut the following week against Cardiff City.
She has not looked back since, playing a full 90 minutes in all her four games, up until the end of the year.
Speaking before the Christmas break, Leigh said: “I expected to start [in the development team], you have to work your way up the ranks.
“It’s different playing there because you are the senior player and then you come into the first team and you’re the younger player. But it’s nice, you get to know everyone and play with them.
“I’m pretty happy to come over and have a shot in the first team so hopefully I can play well, train well and keep hold of that place.”
As for aims in the second half of the season, she said they are “just [to] keep training well and hopefully get a slot in the first team. If not just take it from there”.
That second half of the season is, weather permitting, due to start on Sunday at Sporting Club Thamesmead with an FA Cup second round clash against MK Dons (2pm kick off).
After a disappointing opening four months of this campaign, Leigh has seen plenty of positives in recent matches to suggest Charlton can now start to climb up the FA Women’s Premier League South table.
“You can see it is coming along,” she added.
“From what I have seen we have been really unlucky near the end of games with decisions not going our way but it is picking up and everyone scored a few goals at the weekend.
“Hopefully we can take that into the New Year, build on it, get people back from injury and hopefully get up the league.”