BY LOUIS MENDEZ
After a barnstorming pre-season, Brendan Wiredu hopes to stake a claim for a first-team place in the Championship with Charlton.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who has been operating mainly as a right wing-back this summer, has potentially bagged four goals in four friendly games – although the late winner at Colchester on Tuesday evening may yet go down as an own-goal.
Wiredu had a spell on loan with National League side Bromley last season, but says he’s ready to win the trust of Addicks boss Lee Bowyer ahead of the new campaign.
“As a whole team, we’re all learning and working hard during the week to get to where we are,” explained Wiredu.
“The team just got promoted and me, personally, I’m just trying to make a claim so I can be in and around the squad and play in the Championship during the season. Try to prove to Lee Bowyer that I’m capable enough to play at that level.
“I want to be playing. Hopefully go out there and prove my worth. Make sure that Lee can trust me.
“The loan helped a lot. Bromley helped me a lot in the way I’ve become now as a footballer. I understand the men’s game much more than I probably would playing in the u23s. I think going out on loan helped me a lot and everyone can see that I’m maturing as a player. I’m finding myself in positions that I normally wouldn’t get myself into.
“I’m playing further forward. I think I need to work on my defensive game a bit better but going forward there’s obviously always stuff to work on but that is my strong point. Playing out at right-wing-back, I can get in positions where I could get goals.
“The position I’m picking myself up in – it’s finding the time to be composed and stay up front, which I worked a lot on in the off-season. To come back and get in those positions and stay composed and score the goals.
“Everyone is level headed. Everyone knows what the job in hand is for next season and everyone is trying to get ready. We’re all working hard and being put through our paces. We’re grafting. I think this should be a good season for us.
“When you look at the likes of the people who have come through, you want to be here. This is a club where you can come through and you can play. Managers will trust you to play. That’s the whole philosophy of Charlton since I’ve been here. To break through young players.”
Header photo: Kyle Andrews