Charlton Athletic Football Club Women
Coach Warren Clarke
Reserves Two Steps Away
Reserves Two Steps Away
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 2:53PM UTC, Friday, 03 April 2015
The Charlton women’s Reserve team are just two wins away from winning the FA Women’s Premier League Reserves Southern Division title – but neither manager nor players are getting carried away just yet.
Quote by: Warren Clarke - Reserve Team Coach“If you look at the group at the start of the season to where they are now, the transformation, not just technically but psychologically, has been dramatic.”Quote by: Warren Clarke - Reserve Team Coach
Warren Clarke - Reserve Team Coach
The Addicks can, in fact, lift the title this coming weekend, should they beat Queens Park Rangers and Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur both lose.

However, the more likely outcome is the celebrations will have to wait until following Sunday, as wins against QPR and basement side Lewes make Brighton and Tottenham’s results academic.

Goalkeeper Alex Baker, though, is remaining grounded and pointed out there is still a lot of work to be done, with “a couple of tough games coming up”.

“We are so close but we could chuck it away so easily,” she said.

“We’ve got to keep going and we shouldn’t be looking at it and thinking ‘if we draw here, we lose here’; we want to win every single game and I think that’s the mentality of the girls as well.

“We beat QPR 6-1 earlier in the season but that didn’t do them justice; and Chichester, we battered them in the cup then went to their place and it wasn’t a comfortable walkover, we had to earn it.

“But that’s the way we want to play – we don’t want to walk in thinking we’ve done it because there’d be no point in us training and doing things if we were perfect.”

Meanwhile, although manager Warren Clarke knows just how close his team is, he admits the title is second to the improvements his players have made since the start of the season.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was [thinking about the title] but for me the most important thing as a coach is the development of the players. Regardless of what happens, where we finish at the end of the season doesn’t really matter to me.

“If you look at the group at the start of the season to where they are now, the transformation, not just technically but psychologically, has been dramatic.”

Baker agrees, admitting she has seen a young side “come on leaps and bounds” after a “shaky” start to the season. “I wasn’t sure how we were going to do this season, we didn’t look like the normal Charlton side I know we can be. But as the season’s gone on, we’ve progressed so much.”

As in any team’s season, despite having lost just twice in the league, there have been setbacks, including the disappointment of not getting to the Kent Cup final, a competition Baker believes they were good enough to win.

The more obvious upset was their 5-1 defeat to a Crystal Palace ‘reserve’ side that included seven players that went on to take Charlton’s first team to penalties in the FA Women’s Cup just three weeks later.

But, rather than bemoan the ringers their south-east London rivals used, Clarke was more philosophical, saying that loss acted as a “wake-up call” for his players.

Baker agreed with her manager’s statement, adding they “needed to take a beating like that” and pointing out they have been unbeaten since. “Obviously it wasn’t nice to be on the end of it but we’ve kicked on from there and been unbeaten and that’s what wins you titles,” she explained.

Clarke added: “The goals we conceded [against Palace] wasn’t because they were that much better than us, it was because of our sloppy mental approach before the game.

“[But] the response from the group was exactly how you’d want it because their mental approach and their attitude completely changed.

“They realised they’d worked so hard the week before and were fortunate to get a draw against Brighton and then they could have potentially blown that hard work because of the poor approach to the [Palace] game.

“So now, and hopefully it will continue for the rest of the season, they will maintain that professional mental attitude, because that’s what’s important.”

Leaving the last word to Baker, the keeper, who will tend goal for the first team’s Ryman Cup final against Spurs, said the Kent Cup failure was “disappointing”, but “there’s nothing better than the league title”.

“The cup’s a couple of games; the league’s 22 – it’s what you work for all season. Silverware’s nice but it’s got to be the right silverware and the league title is definitely the priority.”

Recent Results
First Team
Date Opposition Score
04 Aug 2019 Reading 1 - 6
31 Jul 2019 Gillingham (Kim Dixson Testimonial) 6 - 0
21 Jul 2019 Crawley Wasps 1 - 0
Reserves
No results are available
Upcoming Fixtures
First Team
Date Opposition Venue
25 Aug 2019 Lewes H
08 Sep 2019 Durham A
15 Sep 2019 London City Lionesses H
Reserves
No fixtures are available
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