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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Chelsea swoop for Charlton pair
By Tony Leighton

Casey Stoney
I was gutted when Charlton closed down but you have to move on and I'm looking forward to a new challenge

Casey Stoney
In the wake of Charlton Athletic's demise Chelsea have signed the club's England duo Casey Stoney and Eni Aluko.

Ambitious Blues have also captured three England Under-19 internationals - Millwall's Clare Rafferty and Danielle Buet and Sian Larkin from Arsenal.

And more signings may follow as Chelsea look to become the main threat to Arsenal's domestic domination.

"We are absolutely delighted Casey and Eni have joined along with Sian, Dani and Clare," said manager Shaun Gore.

"Casey is a real leader and Eni is the sort of striker defenders hate to play against - both players will bring great experience and know-how to our young squad.

"Other players could be joining us too and we'll certainly be aiming to push on from the base we've built in the Premier League over the last two seasons.

"We want to challenge the best team in Europe, Arsenal. Tthey're the benchmark and we have to try to catch them."

Central defender Stoney said: "I was gutted when Charlton closed down the women's team, but you have to move on and I'm looking forward to a new challenge.

"I started my career at Chelsea as a 12-year-old so I've come full circle, although the club has certainly moved on since I was here.

"Eni and me were very impressed with the set-up, the squad of players being assembled and the ambition of the club.

"We won trophies with Charlton, now we want to do the same with Chelsea and that's definitely the aim."

Former Charlton women's team officials are still hopeful that something might be salvaged from the wreckage of the team's closure.

Discussions have taken place with potential sponsors and a rescue package could be announced shortly.

Murphy on Charlton's demise
27 Jun 07 |  Women


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