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“We do have a good hardcore base that loves the FA Cup so I'm sure it'll be a decent crowd - but nowhere near full”
Our Charlton build-up starts by speaking to talkSPORT’s Natasha Everitt
Thursday 24 November 2022
Dear County fans, Stopfordians, and any Charlton fans joining us for the first time, a very warm welcome to your Thursday edition of The Scarf My Father Wore. Our build-up to Saturday’s FA Cup second round tie at The Valley begins today, and I’m delighted to be joined by Addicks fan Natasha Everitt, who works for talkSPORT, and represents Charlton as an ambassador for the Her Game Too campaign.
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We're both six points off the play-offs going into Saturday. A few of our fans don't seem too bothered about the FA Cup this season, thinking we've got a good chance of pushing for a play-off spot. What's your thoughts ahead of round two?
As it's unlikely we'll get promoted unless we invest in January, Charlton fans are keen to do well in the cup competitions (bar the Papa John’s, which we got knocked out of on Tuesday by Plymouth). We're in the fourth round of the League Cup (only London club left in it, too), so to get that far in the FA Cup as well would be great.
Our last big moment in the FA Cup was only a year ago as we came from 2-0 and 3-1 down to knock Bolton out on an incredible night at Edgeley Park. What's your most recent magical moment in the competition?
Has to be reaching the quarter-finals against Sheffield United in 2013-14, beating Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in round five. We unfortunately lost 2-0 to the Blades, but to go that far under legendary manager Chris Powell was special.
What’s the attendance looking like for Saturday? Is the atmosphere going to be a bit shit?
It's hard to tell with Charlton for cup games. It depends on whether the club opens all three stands; a lot of the time they're inclined to open just two which puts people off (can't sit in their own seat, suggests the tie isn't important, etc.). However, we do have a good hardcore base that loves the FA Cup so I'm sure it'll be a decent crowd - but nowhere near full.
Ben Garner took over as manager in the summer. How’s he doing?
It's been hard to fully judge Garner given he hasn't been given the backing in the transfer window to really get the team he wanted. We spent nothing in the summer and opted for free transfers and loans - all of which have actually done well, but Garner has highlighted our owner didn't provide him with the war chest he wanted. Love his honesty and can see he's a good manager, he just needs the backing.
What are your owners like?
We've been through a lot as a fanbase, from having to leave The Valley for Selhurst Park and Upton Park, to nearly going under in 2020. Therefore we're naturally very protective of Charlton and don't take kindly to people that don't show they have good intentions. When Thomas Sandgaard bought the club we believed this was the case, and still do, however there have been a number of things that have been red flags. Namely not investing in the window, trying to break even in League One and long-standing staff members being sacked without proper reasoning. Time will tell.
Who should we watch out for on Saturday?
It depends if we go full strength or not, but look out for Chuks Aneke and Ashley Maynard-Brewer. Aneke will likely come on in the second half, he'll have a good run at your defenders and he's nailed on to score. Meanwhile Maynard-Brewer has been described as having the potential to be the best keeper in the world by former Premier League keeper Rob Elliot. He's stepped up to be our No 1 with our first choices out injured. He's only 23 and we've only seen him once this season, so it'll be interesting to see how he gets on.
What’s your rivalry like with Crystal Palace and Millwall?
Strong! I always say I dislike Crystal Palace more than Millwall, purely because they're in the Premier League and claim south London is theirs. It’s a bitter rivalry because we used to share a ground with them too. Millwall on the other hand, we don't like them because... well, they're Millwall!
You work for talkSPORT. How did that come about and what’s it like working there?
It's so fun writing about football for a job so can't complain. It really doesn't feel like work. It came about after my friends who worked there told me there was a job as an apprentice going, which involved getting a NCTJ qualification - which I've now finished!
Your Twitter bio says you’ve done 74 of the 92 grounds. Best and worst?
Best was Sunderland. Worst has to be Gillingham.
You’re an ambassador for Her Game Too. What are your experiences like as a home and away female fan? Are things improving for women in football or do you still have to deal with sexist comments from time to time?
99% of my experiences as a Charlton fan/football fan have been positive and welcoming. However, I like most female fans have incidents - both online and in person - where I've been made to feel like I shouldn't be at a game. I think now campaigns like Her Game Too have begun, we're having the conversation about it and helping each other, and that's the most important thing.
What’s your prediction for Saturday?
I'll go for lots of goals and a Charlton win; I'd say 3-2.
What’s your thoughts on Stockport County?
I'm yet to visit Edgeley Park. But I know your fans are passionate and I wish you all the best for the season.
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Stockport photo of the day
Stockport train station
The starting point for all the best away days. Just not on Saturday obviously.
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Matt Walker ‘eats’ the World Cup
🇸🇳 No 3 - Senegal (Ibbs Restaurant)
“Jollof rice, the West African staple, originates from Senegambia. And this version, with chunky chicken and salad in a spicy sauce, was very good. Stretched definition of Eat the World Cup slightly by heading to a Sierra Leonean eatery in the absence of any Senegalese.”
One of my favourite football books is Matt Walker’s Europe United, in which the author and Fulham fan spends a whole season taking in a game in all 55 UEFA countries. Well he’s back with another fun challenge, to experience Qatar 2022 in restaurants and bars across London which represent all 32 competing nations. I was going to attempt this myself but apparently there aren’t any Brazilian restaurants in Brinny. But fear not, Matt has kindly allowed me to use his photos and I’ll bring you one each day, giving you a tasty flavour of the World Cup, in more ways than one.
Today in SK
⚽️ The best place to enjoy all of today’s World Cup action is Bask, with four live games on their 75” screens. Switzerland v Cameroon at 10am, Uruguay v South Korea at 1pm, Portugal v Ghana at 4pm, and then at 7pm it’s the first appearance of the Brazilians as they take on Serbia.