Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:11PM BST, Friday, 26 October 2012
New signing Sarah McCrea is enjoying her time with the Charlton women’s team so far, with her rise to the first team coinciding with an upturn in form for the Addicks.
McCrea joined Charlton shortly into the season and made her first appearance as a sub in the 7-2 win against Portsmouth and her first start the following week in the 1-0 victory in Cardiff, where she set up the winning goal.
That first team chance came around after impressive performances for the reserve team where she scored a 25-yard effort against Bristol Academy and assisted four goals in their 6-0 win over Arsenal.
And the former England under 17 left-winger believes her good form is down to the fact she is enjoying her football.
Speaking after having made her full debut, she said: “The girls are really welcoming, the club’s really friendly and the training sessions are nice and relaxed but in a positive way.
“I’m enjoying my football and I think that is showing because I play better when I’m enjoying myself. I’m enjoying it more than feeling the pressure and strain of trying to climb my way into the first team.
“It’s always nice to have a start [against Cardiff] and it’s nice to feel wanted in a team, which I have definitely felt. I just hope I can build on that week by week and have that little bit of input and show that I am capable.”
The 23-year-old started her career at the age of 12 with Blackburn Rovers and was playing in the FA Women’s Premier League National Division when she was 14.
McCrea lined up for Blackburn in the 2007 FA Cup semi-final clash against the Addicks, which Charlton won before losing 4-1 to Arsenal in the final.
Leaving Rovers for Preston North End four years later whilst at University, she is now getting back into playing football after a two-year sabbatical.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t play for two years when I was living back at home in Carlisle because there aren’t any teams around and I couldn’t afford to travel anymore,” she said.
“Now I’m relishing the opportunity to play football again at a good standard with a great bunch of girls.
“With my job I have different intentions of football, I want to enjoy it a little bit more now. It’s more of a release from work as opposed to when I was a student.”
On her reasons for joining the Addicks, Sarah added: “I have played against all the top clubs before with Blackburn and the game we played against Charlton was memorable.
“It was an FA Cup semi-final [in 2007] and they just seemed like a really good footballing side. The club seems friendly and it’s in a nice location for me and it just seems that maybe I can help establish the club a bit more.
“They are in a good position, finishing in the top half of the league last season so we can build on that and hopefully I can bring something different to the club.”