BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Championship football is unchartered territory for summer Charlton signing Chuks Aneke. He is now ready to go out and try to prove he belongs at that level.
The 26-year-old, who arrived at The Valley this summer after rejecting an offer of a new contract at Milton Keynes, has yet to have a taste of football in the English second-tier.
He has now been presented with an opportunity to make his mark by Addicks boss Lee Bowyer and is hoping to pick up where he left off in Buckinghamshire. He had a better than one in three goal ratio in 84 league appearances during his three years at Stadium MK, bagging 19 goals in his final season there.
“I’ve never played in the Championship before,” explained the Newham-born forward, who came through the youth ranks at Arsenal.
“I want to see if I can play and do what I’ve been doing in this league. I don’t really have any targets. Just play football and do my best. Influence games as much as I possibly can.
“I’ve never played it but I’m raring to go to try and see what I can do there. It’s the same with the other boys. There’s talent all over our squad and we’re very hungry to succeed.
“There’s a good group of boys here. Everyone has been warm and friendly. You can see it’s a close squad. It’s been good, my couple of weeks here. I just want to settle down, go into the season and see what happens there.”
Championship football was a clear draw for Aneke pitching up at The Valley this season but the forward, who was involved in England squads up until the u19 level, said there were plenty of reasons to sign on the dotted line.
“A lot of things,” he explained.
“The club is in the Championship now. It’s a London club, I’m a London boy. The gaffer here, Lee is a well-known player. There’s lots of reasons why coming to Charlton was very attractive.
“You’re aware of the manager but there’s lots of draws here. It’s a massive club as everybody knows. I’ve played against the club a few times in my career. Everybody knows Charlton, it’s a well-known club. There’s many reasons why you’d want to come and play for Charlton.”
Aneke impressed as he took the field for the final half-hour of Charlton’s 4-0 pre-season win at Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday evening, hitting the post and also providing the assist for Ben Dempsey’s late strike.
“The games are coming thick and fast now,” he said, with the South Londoners set to travel to Gillingham on Saturday for their next pre-season test.
“We’re getting a bit more fit, getting stronger. As the season goes on I’m hope to be playing and displaying what I’m about.
“I hit the post today. I was a bit annoyed, frustrated with that but it’s pre-season. There’s no correlation between pre-season and the season. You get your head down, get what you need from the games and go from there.
“You learn off all players. Pre-season is a time to try and get a connection with the boys. There’s no one player that you will learn off, you’ll learn off everyone. You try and make the connection with everyone.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS