Life on loan – Josh Davison on his loan spells at Woking and Forest Green Rovers

Josh Davison had quite the start to life as a Charlton player, signing his professional deal with the Addick’s in 2019 following a trial with the under-23’s before being thrown into first-team action just a week later. The striker explained his unusual start to life at the club.

“I signed my pro contract in October 2019 and made my debut a week later, it was unreal.” he said.

“The atmosphere at the Hawthornes in front of 27 thousand, wow. Going from playing in front of a few hundred at Enfield Town the year before to such a massive stage, it felt like I was watching the TV. It was crazy.”

Having netted 16 goals in 21 appearances for Enfield Town, Davison made the move to South East London, where he’d become a crucial part of the under-23 team, whilst making several appearances for the first team.

Speaking on the move, Davison admitted that he hadn’t played much academy football prior to his time at the Addicks.

He said: “I’d never really played Under 23’s football before I came to Charlton. I was used to mens football at Enfield Town so it was a lot different. You have to get the ball on the floor and play. Technically you have to be up to scratch and that’s where the academy helped me develop.

“I was always big and physical, I could do that side of the game but technically I improved with the under-23’s. I was in everyday practicing rather than being part time at Enfield Town. Being with the academy definitely helped me improve.”

Being thrown in the deep end at the start of his Charlton career, Davison was full of praise for his teammates who helped him settle into life at Sparrows Lane.

“I had Albie Morgan and Alfie Doughty who were my good mates from the under-23’s so I’d talk to them about the first team, they helped me a lot.” he explained.

“The older players really helped me also. For example, Pearcy (Jason Pearce) – skipper. What a professional. He made me feel so welcome in the team, getting me involved in the banter. Him and Prats (Darren Pratley) would help me, they’d give me tips and I learnt a lot from them as well, it’s such a good thing to have.”

This season saw the striker make a move away from Charlton, securing his first loan spell at Woking. Davison made 11 appearances for the Cardinals, scoring three goals in the process and recalled good memories from his three months with the National League side.

“My time at Woking was good, a different challenge to what I’ve been used to. I played first team football at Charlton last season. Going to Woking made me adjust to the scrappy side of the game, it really made me grow up. It was good in that aspect, I learnt a lot from it.” he said.

January saw Davison’s loan at Woking find its conclusion before a quick turnaround. Just six days after returning to Charlton, the striker found himself playing League Two football for promotion chasing Forest Green Rovers.

“When my loan at Woking finished I was told about the interest, the club gave the go ahead and Charlton knew that Forest Green Rovers are a good footballing side.” he said.

“It helps me learn other things compared to when I was at Woking, I’m learning new things every day. All the lads here helped me settle in, the team has a good atmosphere and I’ve settled in really well here. It’s been a good place to come and play and express myself.”

When reflecting on the differences between his football at academy level, on loan at Woking and most recently at Forest Green Rovers, Davison said:

“At Woking I was the target man, I’d be winning headers and holding the ball up from long balls. At Forest Green I’m asked to spin channels and play off our big striker. The experiences I’ve had this season have been great, helping me to learn different sides of the game. At Charlton I was always known for my work rate so hopefully I’m learning more than just that.”

Rovers find themselves third in League Two, just one point off top spot at the time of writing and the young striker is keen to earn promotion during his loan spell before making a return to the capital.

“This season I hope to finish with promotion at Forest Green. All the boys, the gaffer wants it. That’s the goal for now. Next season I hope to come back to Charlton and play. I want to play for the first team and score goals in front of the fans at the Valley.”

Davison was also full of praise for the Valley Gold supporters who have helped him in his journey from under-23’s football, to playing for the first team in the Championship and now supporting the striker’s latest loan move.

He had a message for the supporters: “Everyone that’s supporting Valley Gold are helping bring the youth through today. Aaron Henry, Albie Morgan, Alfie Doughty who has moved on now. They’re all from the academy but that journey starts from the fans, the people who support us and donate to allow these players to come through the ranks and shine. It helps us with the nurturing, we can focus on our football.”

Article by Nick Emms