Here we go again. It’s almost time for what must be around my 15th season in senior football and, as with each and every year that has passed, I am glad to see the back of pre-season and the beginnings of the real thing.

It’s been a summer of change around the club at Watford with a number of players moving on to pastures new and a whole host of new players coming into the club with a fresh enthusiasm to compete and have a real go at the title of the newly re-named FA Women’s National Division (South).

After the re-structure of the women’s game by the FA, there has understandably been a lot of changes.

We at Watford were one of the clubs most affected along with the likes of Sheffield, Doncaster and Sunderland who have all dropped down into the FA WNL as well as the clubs who have moved in the opposite direction.

Brighton and West Ham now find themselves as professional outfits in the Women’s Super League and clubs such as Lewes, Sheffield United and Leicester City have moved into the Championship after successful applications to the FA. Crystal Palace also won their appeal and just a few weeks ago confirmed that they, also, have a place in the Championship.

So, that’s how the land lies and as a result of our bid being unsuccessful, we are now in the FAWNL where we have our eyes firmly set on achieving promotion back to where we feel the club belongs.

It is not going to be easy, by any means. There are a lot of good players in this division who have not yet made the step up. That could be to do with a lot of things that still affect the women’s game such as work or family commitments. We will have a fight on our hands, no doubt about it. I believe the biggest fight, however, may well be against ourselves.

It is no secret that we had a very difficult season last season and you could say we got used to losing games all too regularly. That is a mind-set that has to change and I think you can see through pre-season, that we have started to do that. We have had some really good results and remembered the feeling of scoring goals which will do wonders for our confidence both as individuals and as a team.

There’s only so much you can read into pre-season, though, and the biggest test of all will come this weekend as we take on Cardiff City at home. They have a lot of history and a lot of good, international players. We will have to be ready for that and not underestimate them or any team that we are going to come up against this season. If we can get off to a good start against one of the strongest teams in the division – in my opinion – then we could be in for a very exciting season.