Niamh Charles on why her move to Chelsea can only improve her as a player
Niamh Charles says joining WSL champions Chelsea is ‘only going to make me a better player’ and feels she is already benefitting from playing for the Blues.
Charles signed over the summer from Liverpool, alongside other new faces including Pernille Harder and Jessie Fleming, and she told NewsChain she’s already had to ‘step up’ in training.
She said: "I feel good, I feel strong. Pre-season was definitely difficult and it was a step up, but I’ve been looked after really well and I can feel myself getting better and learning a lot which is why I came here - to learn and push myself.
"I think that's what I have got so far so I'm excited to carry on, there's lots more work to be done. There was a lot of new players so it was nice to not be the only one but also the calibre of players that we brought in and were already here is incredible.
“So being able to train with them day in, day out, is only going to make me better so it's brilliant to be able to watch them and how incredible they are.”
This weekend Charles is set to feature in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final against Everton and she says it is ‘strange’ to be finishing last season’s tournament.
“I think it's not normal circumstances but if you look across every league around the world it’s different circumstances,” she said.
“It's probably never going to happen again so it is strange but I am happy that we are able to finish it, even if it is in weird circumstances.”
This season will see two FA Cup trophies lifted as the 2020/21 tournament will also be played and Charles said they’ll out to win them both.
“Chelsea is a winning team so any trophy that is up for grabs we are going there to win it. So given the circumstances and the fact that there possibly could be two then, yeah, we are looking to win as many trophies as possible."
Charles admits there’s an extra motivation to beat Everton this weekend as, not only did she play for Liverpool, but she’s also a big Reds fan.
She said: "Being a Liverpool fan it's always special playing against Everton so I’m looking forward to it and it’s nice back playing in the FA Cup because had I still been at Liverpool we wouldn't be in it.
“You know what it means to beat Everton and play Everton so definitely we want to win, I want to win every game, but I'll have that little bit extra when I play them."
And she has already identified the main threats from the Toffees.
“They have recruited well but Izzy Christiansen has started the season well and cropped up with a few goals,” the midfielder said.
“Lucy Graham obviously [has had] a few goals so maybe them. But anyone on their day could be causing an issue, I think we are just focusing on ourselves and how we can cause them issues.”
Away from club duty, 21-year-old Charles was called up to her first England camp last week and said it was a ‘privilege’ to be there.
"I really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity, just to be in there was brilliant and to interact with those senior players who have massive experience and I've looked up to for years was incredible.
“It was a great privilege to be a part of that for a week.”
Everton v Chelsea kicks off at 1pm on Sunday and we will bring you all the action as it happens, here on NewsChain