Southampton FC Women already look right at home in the FA National League following last Sunday’s impressive 5-2 victory over Chesham United.
But getting off to the perfect start was only the first hurdle for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side, who are faced with yet another taste of the unknown this weekend.
They’re set to host Ipswich Town Ladies at AFC Totton – the club’s first involvement in the FA Women’s National League Cup – and this Sunday’s game also represents Saints’ first home clash of the new season.
Ipswich sit in a league adjacent to Saints – in the south east region - and drew their opening day game with AFC Wimbledon 1-1.
Reflecting on last week’s victory, and looking ahead to this weekend, MSC explains how her young side are embracing the chance to test themselves against challenging opposition.
"Going into a new league, it's difficult to know what to expect," she began. "But to play away, against a good team, it was a good victory. I thought the girls met the challenge well.
"We had moments where we played some good football, but also moments where we may have dipped. And we view those as learning curves.
"The physicality of our opponents will test us in this league. Chesham will do well this season, I have no doubt, and that game was a really good starting point for us.
marieanne spacey-calewe want fans to come out and be entertained by the football on show.
Southampton FC women head coach
"We're finding out where we fit in this league. The girls really enjoyed the game, but they recognise it's another level. They're really committed to keep learning.
"It's another first for us. We've never played Ipswich before. They've got some real energy and vibrancy about how they play.
"We we want to put a performance on at AFC Totton, particularly for the fans who have made the effort to come out and watch us. We want fans to come down and be entertained by the football on show.
"We talk about Southampton as a family club. Everyone here believes in the values and what this club stands for. We want to do the club and its staff proud."