Hills: “I couldn’t be more proud of the group”

Karen Hills

Head Coach Karen Hills reflected on the club’s productive pre-season trip to Italy.

“It’s been a fantastic week,” Hills told CharltonTV on the final day of the trip. “The girls have been exceptional, the way that they’ve worked together, the sessions that have been put on have been designed to make them work hard and show some resilience in those moments.

“The trip has been exactly what we set it out to be.”

The boss also stressed that it was important to “get out of the comfort zone”, with the squad completing intense training sessions in the heat of the Italian summer.

“It was all about us, all about how hard we worked and how resilient these players were to do four back-to-back sessions in this heat, and they’ve come through with flying colours.

“The players have responded to absolutely everything we’ve asked of them so I couldn’t be more proud of the group,” she added. “I’m looking forward to taking all the positives back and building on them going into the season.”

Hills was also asked about how the side’s latest recruits, Kate Longhurst and Kayleigh Green, were settling into their new surroundings.

“They’ve been good, they’ve been really good value,” said the manager.

“They’ve brought some unbelievable leadership qualities, they’re good people, they’re fun and they’ve just brought that energy to the camp.

“There’s been lots of positive vibes and these girls have really got involved and grasped it, and it feels like they’ve been here a lot longer than they have.”

With pre-season well underway and the fixture schedule released, both the squad and the staff are looking forward to the upcoming campaign, with Charlton opening their season at home against Sheffield United on the 27th of August.

“We need to make sure we start strong… I’m really excited, the players are looking forward to it already, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do in pre-season,” said Hills.

“Overall, it’s been a great three weeks and I’m looking forward to the next five weeks.”

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