Newman - We need to focus on our game from kick-off
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 3:12PM GMT, Thursday, 07 November 2013
Thirteen months after being named reserve team player of the month, Jenny Newman has led the Charlton women’s first team out in their previous two matches – a rise through the ranks that has surprised her.
Of course, first-team football is not new to the winger – she made her debut back in September 2009 and scored two screamers in a Premier League tie away to Reading back in 2011.
A run in the first team after the ensued, but the 23 year old found herself starting last term back in the ressies, where she bagged a double hat-trick in Stuart Weston’s first game in the dugout against QPR.
And, after impressing for the second string during that period, she has finally managed to establish herself as a first-team starter.
And, in the absence of club captain Kim Dixson, was handed the armband for the games against Coventry City and Cardiff City by Weston.
She says: “I never ever thought about being captain before really, I kind of just get my head down and play and when I was asked I was quite surprised but obviously really happy and quite honoured.
“I never thought I would get to this stage, I think I’ve just upped my game a little bit and I’ve started believing in myself more, training with the girls all the time and playing better football.
“For the team I really want us to progress and move forward. All the girls are really brilliant and are all really supportive and as long as we are getting the results and playing well, that’s the main thing.”
After an indifferent start to the season by their own high standards, the Addicks have started to make headway and have turned in two impressive performances since Newman became skipper.
Unfortunately, those matches have only yielded one point – a dubious last-minute penalty helping Cardiff to a 3-3 draw last weekend.
But the performances have encouraged the Ashford-born player, as they start their Premeir League Cup campaign over the next two weekends.
Against Cardiff, she admits, “the second half was much better than the first”, but thinks the team “are starting to play better football”.
She explains: “In the last couple of games we have started to lift it a bit, but there is still a long way to go. We haven’t reached our potential – no way.
“In the second half you could tell we really wanted it, we just need to start earlier, start that from the beginning and then we will start beating teams like we should be.
“Every week recently we have said it – the first half’s not good enough. I can’t put my finger on it personally, the girls all seem up for it and then we start and we may start well but we lose concentration.
“I think we all need to work on going into the game hard and keeping focused and wanting it at the beginning like we do at the end of the game.”