After firing out of the blocks in their first season in WSL 2, many were expecting Sheffield to kick on in the Spring Series and rise to the top, however despite strengthening over the winter the team struggled, falling into a second season pattern.
With the club admitting that they were off of the mark in the Spring, if not a little complacent, the new season will give the side from Dronfield the chance to right their wrongs and get back on track.
The side was barely active in the window, only bringing in Melissa Johnson from Derby as Natasha Flint and Lagan Makin returned to Fylde, taking Danielle Lea and Olivia Fuller with them as Jules Draycott and Emma Lipman left for the Belles and Verona respectively. Despite the losses, the team remains a resilient one, full of a particularly northern grit, the team no strangers to digging in and working hard for the cause.
Grit and determination
One of the more impressive characteristics of Sheffield over their maiden WSL 2 season was the team ethic that ran through the team, instilled in them by young manager, Zoe Johnson. One team as opposed to eleven individuals the team remained consistent, having overcome a run of poor results early in the year to go from strength to strength, no team able to avoid dropping points against the Yorkshire side. If Sheffield are to get anywhere over the coming season, their work ethic and team mentality will be crucial, their no-nonsense style enough to have any team dreading a trip to the Home of Football.
A side full of young and exciting players, Hannah Cain should be the one lighting up pitches for Sheffield, the 18-year-old England youth international on the verge of a break-out season. Further down the pitch, marauding full-back Ellie Gilliatt is expected to have another solid season, scoring, assisting and sending in a firm challenge or two along the way.
Burned by their poor Spring Series, Sheffield will take to the new season like a team with something to prove and their opposition should be wary.