Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 6:23PM UTC, Sunday, 15 July 2012
The Charlton women’s team’s latest recruits Gemma Shepherd and Kelly Cooper are aiming high for the coming season after joining from West Ham United.
The pair joined the Addicks last week and have begun pre-season with two wins out of two against Ebbsfleet and AFC Wimbledon.
Goal-scorer Shepherd, 25, will add to Charlton’s attacking prowess while goalkeeper Cooper, 27, will challenge Megen Lynch for the number one jersey.
Shepherd came to the club on trial during last pre-season but decided to give promotion from the Southern Division one last push with the Hammers.
They could only finish the season in third place, though, so she decided the time was right to challenge herself in the National Division.
She said: “I am really pleased to be here. I like what Paul has got going on down here. He was very persistent but in a nice way, in a way that made me feel welcome.
“He made me feel like I would be a big player here so that really contributed to it. I have also seen Charlton play before and I know they are a good outfit and they play the way I like to play.
“I would like to build on what they did last year, which was finishing fifth. I understand from Paul that he was disappointed with that although from the outside it looks like a good season after just being promoted.
“Hopefully we can now push on to get into the top spot or finish in the top two or three.”
Cooper began her career at Charlton before moving on to play for Fulham, Crystal Palace and West Ham, who loaned her out to South East Combination side Enfield Town last season.
She is now pleased to be back where it all started and is determined to get the number one shirt this term, saying: “This is where I belong, they were the team that made me after all so it’s only right I come back and if I finish my career here it is a full circle.
“Charlton have put in an approach for me every year but it has never really worked out or I have been settled at another team but I thought that I needed to move on and this was the time to come back.
“I want the number one shirt, definitely. I will work hard at training and put it all in and hopefully I will get that shirt.”
The pair have played together for the last few years and Kelly is delighted Gemma, who bagged almost 20 goals in all competitions last year, has decided to join with her.
“I knew she was looking but I didn’t realise she was actually going to sign,” she added.
“I am proper pleased that she is here because she is a decent player and I think her and the other Gemma [Bryan] will work very well up front together, if that is where Paul plays her.”