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Charlton players stay loyal to club
 Women's Football News 22 May 2013
 
Charlton players stay loyal to club - 22 May 2013 - Women's Football NewsCaptain Kim Dixson and player of the year Gemma Shepherd are two of the nine key players who have signed three-year contracts that will see them remain with Charlton Athletic. 
 
The Addicks have moved quickly to tie down the spine of their squad for the forthcoming season, with the transfer window for approaches from FA Women's Super League and other clubs opening in June.
 
The other players who have already put pen to paper are Megen Lynch, Kit Graham, Rosie Paye, Harley Bennett, Katie Flack, Jenny Newman and Stef Simmons. This list is expected to grow over the next few weeks.
 
Megen Lynch pointed to the family-feel around the club as the main reason for her extending her 13-year stay, while Shepherd believes the club is on the verge of "something special". Goalkeeper Lynch said: "I love the club. The girls are fantastic; anyone would struggle to leave the girls. We are a family here and everyone gets along with everyone.
 
"Having been at the club since I was eight and making 100 appearances it has been fantastic. Gemma came in in the summer and hopefully we have made it like a family for her as well."
 
Since joining from West Ham at the start of the season, Shepherd has been in scintillating form, scoring 28 goals in 27 games. "When you go to a new club," she added, "there is normally a bedding in period of about a year but I feel like I did that within a couple of weeks so it seems silly to leave and have to go and do that somewhere else. That's coupled with the fact the league is going to be competitive next year.
 
"We want to build on what we have done. Some of the performances have been great and I think we can do something really special next year if we do all stick together."
 
17-year-old winger Kit Graham, meanwhile, hopes the squad can repay the faith shown in them by chairman and sponsor Stephen King by remaining. "The opportunities we are being given by Stephen are great and the club is moving in the right direction so we are all looking forward to next season now," she added. "We want to prove to Stephen that he's done the right thing in sticking by us."
 
Charlton saw their application to stay in the second tier of English women's football turned down by the Football Association so will compete in the third tier - the top tier of the winter pyramid.

 
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