FA Women's Premier League Preview: Kim Dixson on Charlton Women
17.08.2011 - Football
After the euphoria of clinching the Premier League Southern Division title last season, Charlton are back in the National Division after a three-year wait. Kim Dixson has been with the Addicks all her career, save for a one-year spell with Watford, and captained them last time they played at this level, making her the perfect person to give WSR the low down on the South-East Londoners.
INS: Emma Beckett, Harley Bennett, Sinead Boyer, Jordan Butler, Ellie Stenning (all Millwall), Chanell Yardley (Tooting and Mitcham).
GROUND: Bayliss Avenue, Bayliss Avenue Thamesmead, London, SE28 8NJ (Home of Thamesmead Town FC).
"[Winning the league] was an excellent achievement. Our goal at the start of the season was to get promoted and I think we were worthy winners because we were the best passing team and Gemma [Bryan] just scored goals for fun last year. We didn't really have the confidence in ourselves at the start but after the Reading [FA Cup] game everyone realised we are good enough to win the league."
"We have nothing to be scared of this year. We have come up as champions and we just need to carry on and maintain that. There is no reason, even with the new players coming in, why we can't continue and have that confidence just to play. We haven't spoken about it but I personally think we can win the league. We beat Reading, who finished third, with 10 players last season so there is no reason why we can't do that."
KEY PLAYER: FLISS GIBBONS
"Fliss had a great season last year and she will just continue to improve and continue to be what we think she will be. She is going to be a great player for us and England will be looking at her a lot this year. We all knew how good she was when she played for the under 16s, this is her second year with us and she will be massive for us."
ONE TO WATCH: JORDAN BUTLER
"I think Jordan has fitted in well with Duggs [Becky Duggan] at the back and she talks quite a good game. She is a good passer of the ball and we like to play it from the back so it is good that she has come straight in, fitted in well and she is the kind of player we need at the back, with Grace [Coombs] going."
BEST SIGNING: HARLEY BENNETT AND EMMA BECKETT
"We have brought in a lot from Millwall and I think Harley and Beckett will do well this season. They are used to playing together in midfield so they should do well."
CAPTAIN: KATIE FLACK/KIM DIXSON
"Katie has been away a lot pre-season so I think she will start the season on the bench, which is unlucky for her. I think I will start as captain and I will relish the opportunity. I support Charlton and Charlton is my life but if it is taken away and she is captain then I will just get on with it so it won't be a problem."
MANAGER: PAUL MORTIMER
"I have known Paul for a long time, ever since he came in, so he and I are quite close and good friends off the pitch as well as on it. I have great respect for him, everything he has done for my football and everything he says I will take in high regards. He wants us to play good football, some managers just want you to hoof it, but Paul wants us to get it down and play and that is the main thing."
Who do you think will be the biggest title threat? "Obviously Sunderland ran away with it last year and they are going to be up there. It is a very tight league and on their day, anyone can beat anyone."
Can you predict the WPL's round one scores?
Aston Villa 1-2 Barnet
Charlton 2-0 Nott'm Forest
Leeds 3-0 Watford
Reading 2-2 Coventry
Sunderland - Cardiff
WSR's Verdict: 5th. Charlton are on a high after promotion from the Southern Division and will hope to take that momentum into this season. Need to get a good start this time out but have the ability to challenge at the top of the table.
Kim was speaking to David Brenchley. Charlton host Nottingham Forest on the first Sunday of the Premier League season on August 21 with a 1400 kick off.