Aston Villa Ladies begin 2019 with a trip to the North East to take on Durham Women in the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday.
The squad finished last year on a high, moving up to eighth in the table with a 5-1 thrashing of Sheffield United.
Durham have earned a reputation as one of the hardest teams to beat in the division, having lost only once in the league this season, but Villa Head Coach Gemma Davies is optimistic ahead of a meeting with the fourth place side.
She said: “We finished just before the Christmas period on a really good run of form and we had a lot of momentum as a group.
“It was important to maintain that momentum over the break given the importance of our two fixtures this month against Durham and Leicester – games that we think we can take points from, hopefully maximum points.
“There’s no easy game in this league and Durham are a tough side. They’re exceptionally resilient, they’re organised, they defend very well and they’re hard to break down.
“We know what to expect and we’ve got a game plan for that. With where we’re at right now, we’re confident we can get a result.”
The Ladies have kept themselves ticking over during a month-long winter break with friendlies against Blackburn Rovers and Yeovil Town, ensuring their raring to go on Sunday.
Left-back Hollie Gibson, who stepped up a division when she signed from Stoke City in the summer, is itching to get going in 2019.
She said: “What a challenge it’s going to be. Durham away is not going to be an easy game but I’m ready to go and I think the girls are too.
“They’re a very good team, they’re physical, but we know what we’ve got to do to beat them and hopefully we can execute it.”
Villa Ladies’ first home game of 2019 will take place at Villa Park on 27 January.
Make sure you’re in the crowd to see them take on Leicester City by buying a ticket online here.