Rovers Ladies kick off the 2015-16 FA Women’s Premier League season at home to Loughborough Foxes this weekend.
Gemma Donnelly’s side welcome the Midlands Division One champions to the WEC Group Anchor Ground in Darwen on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
Rovers, who finished third in the Northern Division last term, have registered some mixed results in their summer friendlies, but are targeting a strong start to the new campaign.
“It’s been a tough pre-season for us, but we purposefully scheduled more testing preparation than last season, given that last year was too easy for us and we were ill-prepared for our opening game against Huddersfield, which we lost,” said manager Gemma Donnelly.
“This year, we have travelled further, made our fixtures more elusive and taken an unorthodox approach by playing against teams in our division. We hope it stands us in good stead for this season and certainly for our opening game.
“Loughborough will be a bit of an unknown quantity. They are newly-promoted, so I’m sure they’ll be full of confidence and their momentum may carry them forward given their successful 2014-15 campaign.
“We have been fortunate to retain a large proportion of players from last season. Along with the introduction of an entire new Reserves team, which boasts some junior international prospects, some of which will be included in the squad this weekend, we have also signed Rosie Kinvig from Liverpool Feds and Saffron Jordan, who is ex-Manchester City, subject to international clearance.
“The girls are both physically and mentally prepared and are eager to start the season on a positive note.”