Parsons looking forward to the challenge of a new season
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:08PM UTC, Monday, 08 August 2016
Jeremy Parsons is delighted with the Charlton womenís teamís strength in depth, as his side bids to go one better than the second place they managed in the FA Womenís Premier League (FAWPL) South last season.
The Addicks have been improving season-on-season since finishing fifth in the 2013/14 season – Parsons’ first campaign with the club as assistant manager. As manager the year after he guided them to third place, before being pipped to the title by two points by Brighton & Hove Albion last term.
Since then, Brighton secured promotion to the FA Women’s Super League, leaving Charlton as the top club on previous finishing position, and Parsons has strengthened his hand by bringing in the Seagulls captain Jay Blackie.
Further reinforcements came in the shape of Avilla Bergin, a Northern Ireland winger who scored 18 goals in 39 FAWPL South matches in for Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking about his new additions, Parsons said: “The new signings have added more competition for places in the starting XI, which is good for the team. They’re all going to be competing in training even more so now because they know only 11 can start.
“I think that will breed confidence throughout the team. When people get their opportunities I hope they take them and we can work from there.”
On the new players individually, Parsons was delighted to have brought both in, having seen Bergin turn down the chance to join halfway through last season, adding: “We targeted [Avilla] early on last year and she was adamant that she wanted to finish the season off with Spurs, which I totally understand.
“It’s a great addition, it gives us different options and it will keep Kit and Gemma on their toes as well because she can play up top. Attacking-wise, for me, it’s another part of the jigsaw.
“I’m happy that she’s here; I’m also happy with the other girls that have been with me for the last three years. I’m looking forward to it, it should be good.
“With the experience Jay’s got it might possibly give us what we need [to push on and win the league]. It’s having those kind of players to mix with ours and hopefully that should give us the edge this year.
“I think you need people like that to give you that extra push to maybe guide a few of the younger players and if she can bring her experience to the table as well we can only benefit as a team.”