Sue Smith is confident Doncaster Rovers Belles can compete with the best teams in FAWSL1.
Smith, along with skipper Leandra Little, signed a new deal with the Belles this week.
The club also resumed pre-season training this week ahead of the new season, which will see Belles back in the top division following their controversial demotion in 2013.
Smith said: “We were gutted to go down a couple of years back but I think we’re in a better position now to be in FAWSL1.
“It’ll be a big task for us but I think everybody is ready for it and looking forward to the challenge.
“There’s no reason why we can’t compete with the best teams in this league, we showed we can against various teams last season.
“With the professional aspect and the different things we’ve been able to add to the Belles for this season as well, we can definitely compete with the teams up there.”
Boss Glen Harris has strengthened his squad over the winter by bringing in Natasha Dowie, Katrin Omarsdottir, Becky Easton, Anna Moorhouse and the returning Jess Sigsworth.
And Smith has been pleased with the additions made during the close-season.
“I think it’ll be competitive this season,” she said.
“There’s a lot of players in similar positions which is good, you want that healthy competition.
“You won’t be able to pick a first XI now, it’ll change throughout pre-season, but that’s what you want - that kind of competition.
“Glen has a healthy squad.
“He’s brought in players that fit in really well and that’s really important for the Doncaster Belles family environment.
“It’s not just about having quality, it’s having the right type of player and he’s done that really well.”
Belles have lined up pre-season friendlies with Sheffield, Aston Villa and Yeovil. Dates are yet to be confirmed.