Former Addicks midfielder Dale Stephens had fond memories aplenty when he joined the CharltonTV team last weekend.
Stephens, who joined the Addicks from Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2011, made 90 appearances for the club and was a key member of Chris Powell’s squad that were crowned League One champions in 2011/12.
Recalling his move to SE7, Stephens said: “It was just more an overall feeling, you know. I was one of 18 players coming in during that summer transfer window, so obviously the backing from the top to the bottom was there. It was an ambitions football club and that’s what they were selling to the players. We wanted to try and get promoted and to do it the way we did was obviously extra special.
“We had Chris Powell as our manager and he understood the football club. He knew what sort of culture was here, or what should be here, and obviously the players needed to buy into that because he demonstrated and told us weekly what it was about. We all got the gist of it really quick.
“In terms of the recruitment side of it, we recruited players who were playing for some smaller clubs in that division who wanted to progress up the divisions, and we took some players from the Championship that maybe weren’t playing too often. It just created a really good atmosphere in terms of the older ones looked after the younger ones and led by example, but all that obviously came from the manager.
“I was coming to this massive football club with a desire to get better and that was the main pull for all of the players that we had. I was coming from Oldham, who aren’t as big a club as Charlton, and I came from Bury before that, so this was the first opportunity I had to play for a big football club.
“I used to love coming to training every day. It was a proper training ground and a proper stadium. We were scoring goals, winning football matches and the crowd were getting behind us every single week. If you could ask for a perfect season that was certainly one of mine, for sure!”
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(Transcription by Josh Spicer)