Meet the opposition | Charlton Athletic
As Swansea City get set for their final pre-season friendly against Charlton Athletic at The Valley, we take a look at the history, the off season and the key figures for The Addicks.
What's their story?
Charlton Athletic were established in 1905 and have spent four separate periods in the top-flight of English football, most recently between 2000 and 2007.
During that period, under the tutelage of Alan Curbishley, they enjoyed a league high finish of seventh. They have also enjoyed FA Cup success on one occasion, lifting the trophy in 1947.
Recent times have seen them flit between League One and the Championship, where they have spent two separate spells in recent years.
Danish-American businessman Thomas Sandgaard completed a takeover in 2020 to bring fresh optimism to the club. After last season’s mid-table finish, they will hope to kick on this term.
How was last season?
Last season was a year of inconsistency for the Addicks, resulting in their 13th place finish as they lost 21 of their 46 league games.
After a shaky start, which had seen them drop to the foot of the league and led to the departure of manager Nigel Adkins, steady progress was made under Jonnie Jackson in achieving a mid-table finish.
Pre-season has started, with 10 goals being scored across two of their four friendly fixtures in a 6-1 victory against Dartford and a comeback 4-2 victory at Colchester United.
Youngster Mike Leaburn, son of former Addicks’ striker Carl, has been amongst the goals, scoring three and registering two assists in his last two games.
Who’s the gaffer?
Ben Garner has arrived from Swindon Town to take the helm and become the Addicks’ third manager in a year after the summer departure of Jackson upon the expiry of his short-term contract.
Garner impressively led the Robins to the play-offs in League Two last term before making the move to south-east London.
After working under Ian Holloway and Tony Pullis as first-team coach at Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion respectively, Garner started his stint in management at Bristol Rovers in 2019, where he gained a reputation for being a coach with a keen attention to detail before taking the reins at the County Ground.
Who’s the captain?
Long serving captain Jason Pearce has moved into a coaching role in the club's academy after retiring in the summer. His replacement has yet to be announced but the armband has been shared between talismanic midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey and Jayden Stockley in pre-season.
Who are the key men?
The physically-imposing 6ft 3in striker Stockley, nicknamed ‘the headmaster’ due to his prolific arial ability, will be key to Addick's chances this season, after scoring 20 goals in all competitions in a prolific first full season after signing from Preston.
New head coach Garner has raided his old club Swindon to sign goalscoring midfielder Jack Payne. The former Southend United talisman arrives off the back of a productive 13 goals in 35 games last season for the Robins.
Combative midfielder George Dobson will again look to marshal the midfield after a stellar first season at the club.
Charlton’s player of the season had an impressive campaign after signing from Sunderland in June 2021. An ex-Arsenal youth player, he made 38 appearances last season and has had previous spells at Walsall and Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Exciting versatile full back Steven Sessegnon has joined on loan from Fulham to strengthen the back line. Brother of Tottenham Hotspur’s Ryan, he has represented England at all youth levels up to under-21 and will provide lightning pace in transition.