Charlton Athletic Women’s development team take on Blackburn Rovers in the Women’s National League Reserve Cup final on Sunday, April 14th, at Rugby Town FC, with kick-off at 11am.
Charlton have beaten high performing sides including Watford, Lewes, and Leicester’s development teams to reach the final, and manager Josh Oatham is feeling confident ahead of the big day.
“The girls are really confident, they are really looking forward to it.
“The girls are really enjoying the lead up to the game, preparation has gone well. We feel confident and I feel ready to go.”
“We’ve had a really tough route but every step has had a new challenge. We deserve the right to play in the final and we’re going to enjoy every moment of it.
“The development to get here is exactly what the girls need, to play against high Championship development sides.”
Despite the excitement of the occasion, Oatham wants to ensure his players treat the fixture as just another game.
“It could be a cliché, it’s a final, there’s obviously going to be a certain level of excitement, but we’ll just approach it as we do every game. These girls have learnt a lot along their journey, and this really is a fitting way to finish the season in a competition which on paper, was one we wanted to be in the final of.”
Oatham was a key part of the Charlton Athletic Women’s first-team last season, helping to coach them to promotion to the FA Women’s Championship after a play-off win against Sunday’s opponents. He stepped up to manage the development side at the start of this season with the aim of producing good talent to step into the first team.
“It’s another really pleasing thing for me because at the start of the season I wanted my players to push towards the first-team and we’ve had three players go up to join the senior squad which is a great achievement. The girls have performed brilliantly, 18 wins in 22 games is fantastic. I am just really proud to be their coach and to have enjoyed such a fantastic year.”
The boss was keen to show his appreciation to the club for everything they have done to help his side this campaign.
“The club have been fantastic, they’ve put on all the stops for us. The girls are getting the same treatment the first-team would get, and we’re very thankful to the club for that because it takes a lot financially for this to happen. They are very proud to represent Charlton Athletic and very pleased with the support given to us. The club are giving us the opportunity to develop them for big occasions such as Sunday. Ultimately the aim is to learn as much as we can and take that into first-team football.”
Free parking is available inside the ground and tickets are priced at just £5 for adults, £2.50 for OAP’s/U16s, £1 for under 10’s and free for U3s.