Brooke Chaplen says Everton Ladies’ close-season transfer activity gives this weekend’s televised Merseyside derby an extra element of spice.
Following last weekend’s FA Cup postponement against Oxford, the Blues will now get their campaign underway with a mouth-watering Continental Cup clash against their city rivals Liverpool at Halton Stadium on Saturday evening.
Manager Andy Spence could hand a number of his new recruits their competitive debuts – including Kelly and Vicky Jones who were signed from the weekend's opponents during the winter break.
Striker Simone Magill, defender Julie Nelson and goalkeeper Lizzie Durack are also in contention to make their first appearances having signed deals with the Club on Wednesday.
“Everyone is looking forward to the derby and it will be very interesting,” Chaplen told evertontv.
“A couple of players have gone between clubs, both ways. We’ve got the twins [Kelly and Vicky Jones] coming in and Fara [Williams], Tash [Dowie] and Becky [Easton] have gone across to Liverpool.
“Everyone is excited and I’m sure it will be a good game for the neutrals.”
Everton reached the Continental Cup semi-finals and the FA Women’s Cup quarter-finals last season before securing a third place finish in the Women’s Super League.
Spence is beginning his first year as boss after taking over from Mo Marley at the end of last season, and Chaplen is full of optimism following a successful pre-season.
The 23-year-old added: “You can never write yourself off. We have got a really good team spirit this year and all the girls are really working hard. Training has been very good and everyone is feeling positive.
“All we can do is take that into our games and I believe we have got a squad of players that will really work hard for each other. That could be the difference this year.”
Saturday’s derby kicks-off at 7.30pm. Admission on the day of the game is priced at just £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Alternatively, tune into ESPN from 7.15pm to watch the game live.