Weston looking to kick-off with a win
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:24PM UTC, Thursday, 22 August 2013
Stuart Weston has hailed his sideís perfect preparation ahead of the Charlton womenís teamís first game of the season against West Ham United at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday (2pm).
The Addicks completed their pre-season with an impressive 5-1 victory over Portuguese top-division club A Dos Francos in their native country.
And new manager Weston believes that victory - both the manner of the performance and the confidence the win will instil – leads them into the forthcoming campaign nicely.
He said: “Throughout pre-season the work ethic of the girls has been phenomenal. Their fitness is probably higher than it was halfway through last season.
“If we can replicate the way we played in Portugal on Sunday then we have a great chance to have a good win [against West Ham] because we were outstanding.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more - I came away thinking they are ready.
“Everything we’ve been working on has clicked, and they are ready for the season, it’s almost perfect that the season starts in Sunday.
“To come off a win like that and going straight into the season is great preparation for the confidence of the girls and the morale.
“You can see the gelling in the girls now. The atmosphere is amazing, they are all so excited to get going against West Ham.”
Charlton go into the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division season with, arguably, one of the top three squads in the league.
Weston has managed to keep hold of the vast majority of his top performers from last term and has strengthened by bringing in the likes of former Tottenham Hotspur captain Sam Pittuck.
Despite that, the gaffer is not taking anything for granted and is looking forward to testing himself first up against tough opposition in a local derby.
“I don’t think you can go into any game thinking that you’re going to have an easy win,” he added, “and I definitely wouldn’t do that with West Ham.
“We have ex-West Ham players and there are ex-Charlton players that have gone there so it’s always going to be that rivalry.
“We want to keep our heads level, we know it will be a competitive and physical game but I have no doubt I have the players to deal with that.
“We have an immense amount of quality in our side and I am quietly confident we will play well.”
As ever, the excitement the beginning of a new season brings is likely to fire up both sides and Weston is pleased with the togetherness the squad has shown. That was helped by their training camp at Brown’s Club last week, which acted as a team-bonding opportunity as well.
“The buzz around the club is something I’ve not experienced before. Through the whole club, everyone wants to be here and everyone is happy.
“The girls are playing for each other, especially in that heat, they were still running hard in the 90th minute for each other because none of them wants to let the other one down. I think that’s so important in a side.”