After being effectively disbanded by their parent club following the relegation of the men’s team from the Premiership, the female Addicks lost virtually the whole of their senior players to other clubs.
That has left them short of the numbers as well as the quality required to compete at National Division level – so, with their first League match scheduled for September 23, an urgent recruitment drive has begun.
Charlton Community Trust director Jason Morgan said: “We’ve only got 10 players at the moment, but we are aiming for a squad of 20 and we’ll hopefully have that in place well before our first match.
“We are looking for players who either have National Division experience or want to prove themselves at the top level of the women’s club game, and we are inviting players to make contact with us and come along to training sessions.”
Training sessions are currently taking place under the supervision of community coach and former Charlton player Paul Mortimer. Anyone interested in attending training should call Jason Morgan on 0208 850 2866 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Places are also available on the club’s Centre of Excellence and Academy schemes for girls, though these are fairly limited as a good number of youngsters who were already involved will continue to be so.
Morgan said: “At the Centre of Excellence, where we operate at Under-10, 12, 14 and 16 age levels, we have 55 to 60 girls already but are looking for up to 80 in total. At the Academy we have almost 30 but would like to take that number to 40.”
The picture is certainly looking far rosier for the female Addicks than it was two months ago, when the club seemed to be on the point of extinction. But the Charlton Community Trust – a body independent of Charlton Athletic FC – has saved the day.
Steve Waggott, Chief Executive of the Community Trust, said: “Thanks to a lot of hard work by a good number of people we’ve been able to re-establish the club’s structure and we’ll be aiming to provide a seamless pathway from Under-10 level to the first team.”
Photos credited to FA.com