Pools Women’s Team kick-off their league campaign on Sunday when they welcome York City to East Durham College in Peterlee (2pm kick-off).
However, boss Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes will have to ring the changes following last week’s FA Cup crushing of Carlisle United with no fewer than nine players unavailable for selection this weekend.
Five of last weekend’s starting eleven won’t be involved against The Minstermen on Sunday as Gibbon-Hayes’ squad is tested to the limit in the opening North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division fixture.
Three of those who are missing are taking part in this year’s Great North Run at the weekend so Pools will be without runners Caitlin Bates, Robyn Foster and Jessica McKenna.
Pools completed a Premier Division double over York last term, running out 7-1 winners on home turf in February after triumphing 5-1 on the road in October.
However, Gibbon-Hayes won’t be taking anything for granted as much-fancied Pools seek the perfect start to their league season on Sunday.
“We’re really excited to get the league underway,” he admitted.
“We have a very strong group of players which means that training is very competitive; it’s going to be a tough season ahead but I am sure the girls will flourish as we go along.
“Last week’s FA Cup win at Carlisle was a positive way to start and it shows we’re going to be a threat going forward but York will be a more difficult.
“The players and staff are all looking forward to playing our first game at East Durham College and we’d love to see as many Poolies as possible there to support the team on Sunday.”
Kick-off in Peterlee on Sunday is 2pm and entry to all supporters is free.