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Katie Chapman was understandably looking on the positive side after Charlton Athletic took over the leadership of the National Division on Sunday. Speaking to Women's Soccer Scene after their 4-0 victory over Bristol City, Katie admitted: "We sit there at the top now, and it's other teams who are catching us now so it is positive for us. We couldn't ask for any better, we've played Arsenal and drawn and won the other five, and we've done well as a team."
The England star joined Charlton during the summer after four years at Fulham and has no regrets about signing for the Addicks. "It's really good here, the girls have made me feel welcome but I'm enjoying my football now and I think that's why I'm coming back to my best, and the enjoyment is the main thing."
Katie certainly is coming back to her best, 18 months after giving birth to her son Harvey. But did she find it difficult returning to playing last season? "it was to an extent," she replies, "but because I trained while I was pregnant it was easier for me to come back and I wasn't as unfit as I thought I'd be. Last season at Fulham didn't go well so I'm hoping to come to Charlton and do well here."
Charlton came close to the domestic 'treble' last season and Katie has noticed an extra determination to go one better this time around. "The girls feel it, they've been in two F.A.Cup Finals amd this season they want to well. They have progressed over the seasons and got better and better and they've improved this season as well, and have brought in some new players."
One of those new players is experienced midfielder Sian Williams from Arsenal, and Katie is enjoying playing alongside her. "Sian is so composed and calm on the ball - she is the player we need to either slow things down when things are going to fast or speed it up, so she is a good signing for Charlton."
The win over Bristol City also saw Katie score for the first time for her new club. It wasn't the prettiest goal she will ever get, a tap-in after a defensive error. "They all count," she smiles, "I wanted to score and that is my first league goal for Charlton, to me that is special. Hopefully that's the first of many now!"
Going top of the league has finished off a good week for Katie, having played in both of England's victories in Holland during the previous seven days. She feels there is a good cause for optimism ahead of next summer's UEFA Championships. "Things went really well," she says, "we won both games. Obviously there are things to work on within these games but we'll build on that and can build on success rather than failings. We've got new players in the squad and I think we're just getting better and better."
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