Football

Hills vows to bring ‘good times’ to Charlton and targets top-flight return for Addicks’ women’s team


KAREN HILLS wants to lead Charlton back to the top tier of the women’s game after taking up the mantle as the team’s head coach. 

And the ex-Tottenham boss hopes to bring the glory days back to the Addicks who are battling to avoid relegation from the Women’s Championship. 

Karen Hill says she likes the "challenge" of helping Charlton Women become a top-flight team

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Karen Hill says she likes the “challenge” of helping Charlton Women become a top-flight teamCredit: Rex

Hills, 45, was speaking to Charlton hero Scott Minto on the club’s web site days after making her return to management.

Her appointment occurred in the same week Nigel Adkins replaced Lee Bowyer as gaffer of the Addicks’ men’s side, with Bowyer replacing Aitor Karanka at Birmingham City.

And Hills believes helping Charlton to become a force at the sport’s highest levels is the “perfect” challenge for her.

Hills said: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind if I’m honest, and probably the same pretty much the same for Nigel as well.  

“With Thomas (Sandgaard) coming in I think the club’s in fantastic shape And with the atmosphere around the training ground, just, it just seems that the vibe is really positive, and everyone’s excited about the next chapter. 

“For me, I like to build, I like a project, I like a challenge and I think this is a perfect fit for me at this moment in time.”

Charlton, who are third from bottom in the Women’s Championship and three points off the drop zone, were one of the top sides in the country for seven years from 2000 to 2007. 

Former players of the team, who take on Crystal Palace next, include Hills, Casey Stoney, Eniola Aluko and Katie Chapman. 

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The club, who were league title runners-up in 2004, are four-time Women’s FA Cup finalists winning the trophy in 2005.

Charlton are due to play Crystal Palace before taking on London City Lionesses

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Charlton are due to play Crystal Palace before taking on London City LionessesCredit: Zuma Press

And Hills was part of that triumphant team captained by Stoney. 

Hills added: “I’ve had the privilege to play for Charlton and I had amazing times playing in the FA Cup final and winning a FA Cup final medal. 

“We were successful in getting four opportunities to play in the final.

“Unfortunately we got pipped quite a lot by Arsenal because they were top of the game at that moment in time, but we were always thereabouts.

“The women’s game at the moment is in such a fantastic shape, but you see the top division WSL and that’s where I think Charlton deserved to be.  

“They were a huge club and we had some fantastic players when I was here playing, and I want to bring the good times back to Charlton on the pitch.

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Charlton hope to pick up their first win of the month when they take on Crystal Palace

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Charlton hope to pick up their first win of the month when they take on Crystal PalaceCredit: Zuma Press

“I think we’ve got an opportunity to take the women forward and progress, and I’m excited to be part of that project and journey.”

Hills played for Charlton from 2000 to 2007, before managing Tottenham for 11 years from 2009. 

And the former Addicks defender will be aiming to lead her team to their first win of the month when then visit Palace ahead of a Sunday derby clash with London City.

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