At the start of the season many predicted Charlton Athletic to end up in the relegation zone and playing their football in League 1 next year. Though it is still early on in the season, Charlton are firing up the table, with an important play-off place clash with Blackburn Rovers coming up this weekend. (Charlton are sitting in 10th with Blackburn in 8th). Though Charlton have been successful, many of their wins have come at home in the beautiful surroundings of The Valley, whereas they have only won 2 out of 11 games playing away (in all competitions).
When you think of the best youth academies around the English Football League, you think of Southampton, Arsenal and maybe even Crewe. Unless you were a Charlton fan, you wouldn’t see how important the Youth Graduates have been for CAFC in the last few seasons. It hasn’t changed this year, with players such as Callum Harriott, Chris Solly and Jordan Cousins, to name a few, the latter scoring a tremendous ‘curler’ against Blackpool the other day. The passion of these youngsters and the experience of the senior players could be enough to take them to the play-offs, and maybe the Premier League. We can always dream.
Sitting with Season Ticket holder’s week in week out at The Valley, though sometimes irritating, it can also be enlightening, with the fellow fans suggesting who to sign or moaning about one player to the other. But the main name on their lips is that of Igor Vetokele, a sensational Angolian international striker, who is, at the tender age of 22, storming his way through his first season at The Valley with 8 goals in his 15 appearances. While younger players have been much of the talk this season, we cannot forget the older players such as captain Johnnie Jackson, who every season performs the professional football that we like to see at Charlton Athletic.
This could be a new era for Charlton, predicted bottom, but coming up tops, with youngsters coming through the ranks. We can see promising things coming from The Valley.