Can Charlton push for promotion next season?
Charlton Athletic Women have had a strong season in the FA Women’s Championship. Karen Hills has led her side to a comfortable 4th place finish, an achievement the Addicks’ wouldn’t have anticipated at the start of the season.
Karen Hills was brought in at Charlton in the middle of the 2021-22 season, after spending 13 years with Tottenham Hotspur. The main target in her first season was to steer Charlton to safety, which she did, with an 8th place finish. A season later, and she has helped Charlton cement a top 4 finish, establishing themselves as one of the strongest sides in the division. The Addicks finished on an impressive 38 points, just 10 points behind League champions Bristol City.
Charlton’s season has been an impressive one, despite hitting some inconsistent form at the end of it. The club made it into the 5th round of the FA Cup. They narrowly missed out on a place in the Quarterfinals, as Charlton fell to a 1-0 defeat against Birmingham City. Nevertheless, they had a very strong cup run, and established some strong form in the league.
The Addicks have had some stand-out performers this season. Forward Melissa Johnson was recently voted Player of the Month for April, after putting in some stellar performances over the course of the month.
Charlton have also played so strongly this season, that several of their players have been recruited to play on an international basis. January signing Alex Hennessy has been a bright spark for Charlton, and this did not go unnoticed as she received a call-up to the England Under-18s. Alex wasn’t the only player called up to represent the Three Lions, as Mia Ross, Kiera Skeels and Angela Addison all received call-ups for the England Under-23s. Charlton’s players have hit some excellent form over the course of the season, and it is clear that the future looks bright for the Addicks.
Despite having a season that went above expectations, Charlton did have their ups and downs. The biggest blow to the Addicks was when regular starter and star player Ella Rutherford sustained an ACL injury against Coventry United. Ella’s injury happened at the beginning of February, at a crucial point in the season. Charlton’s fixture list was long, as they faced extra games, after many of theirs got postponed over the Christmas period due to bad weather. However, the Addicks had to continue the rest of the season without Rutherford, as it was found that she required surgery, that kept her out for the rest of the season.
Charlton went on some impressive unbeaten runs across the season, going as long as 7 matches unbeaten in all competitions. This form took a hit towards the end of the season, as in their last 3 games, they won one, drew one, and lost one. The Addicks’ season finished at The Valley in a London Derby against arch-rivals Crystal Palace. They drew the curtain on their 2022/23 campaign by sustaining a hard-fought point, in a 1-1 draw. Melissa Johnson was the scorer, and her hard work was reflected in her Player of the Month award.
Charlton Athletic’s season was a very positive one. They ended the season in 4th place, four places higher than the season before. The Addicks have had strong cup runs and have had many of their players scouted to play at international level for England. It appears that Karen
Hills’ side have established themselves as a strong FA Women’s Championship team and are a force to be reckoned with.