A general view of VCD Stadium, The Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford Charlton Athletic Women v Leicester City Women, FA Women's Championship football match, The Oakwood, Crayford, UK - 17 Nov 2019 Photo: Stephanie Meek for The FA

Northern Ireland international midfielder returns to Charlton Athletic

Northern Ireland international midfielder Ciara Watling has returned to her former club Charlton Athletic according to reports by The Addicks’ official website.

The 27-year-old former FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division title-winner has joined the South East Londoners as a free agent after opting to leave their FA Women’s Championship rivals Crystal Palace before Christmas.

Watling spent four years with previous club Crystal Palace, playing a significant part in their successful transition into the second tier following their invitation to join the new FA Women’s Championship in 2018. The player was a regular for The Eagles boss Dean Davenport throughout her time at the club.

The midfielder started her senior career with Charlton Athletic where she made 54 appearances, scoring four goals. Watling was a member of The Addicks side which won the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division title in 2010/2011.

After leaving the South East Londoners, Watling enjoyed a short spell with Millwall Lionesses before spending a successful four years with Crystal Palace.

Watling could be handed her second Charlton Athletic debut by manager Riteesh Mishra when The Addicks welcome Blackburn Rovers to The Oakwood on Sunday as the club return to FA Women’s Championship action following the mid-season break. They are aiming to climb off the bottom of the table following a tough first half of the season.

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