Watford Ladies' head coach Armand Kavaja said his team is ready to push for promotion when they kick off their new season this Sunday away at Portsmouth.

The Golden Girls scored 17 goals in four pre-season games and strengthened the squad in a number of areas.

Ahead of this weekend's curtain rasier, Kavaja told the club website he was pleased with his side's work over the summer and that he wants to make a statement this season.

"Our opening few fixtures are tough, but if we can get off to a good start, we’ll send a message to the other teams in the league that we’re serious this year,” he said.

“We want to compete and be in and around the top three this season. We came close last time, but didn’t have that strength in depth, whereas this year, we’re adding those players that will hopefully take us that extra step.

“Promotion is the ultimate goal. Ideally, we would have liked to have gone up last year, but we had a three-year plan in place.

“We want to show the FA that we’re serious with what we’re doing here. The club has invested a bit more, we’re training at the men’s training ground and now have an extra session on the Wednesday.

“We’ve got to now make sure we compete and that we’re around that top three throughout the season, because it will come down to the head-to-heads between the sides that are up there. The coaching staff and I are confident.”

Three new signings have already arrived to join the Ladies' ranks this season in the shape of defender Ryah Vyse, goalkeeper Nina Wilson and latest recruit, midfielder Megan Chandler.

The former Charlton and Crystal Palace player was officially unveiled as a Watford player on Tuesday after spending a portion of pre-season with the club.

She told the club website she was optimistic about their chances of picking up three points in their first game.

"I’m very excited to have made the move,” she said. “It’s a great atmosphere here, the training is really good, the girls are lovely, and I can’t wait for the season to start.

"I want to play as regularly as I can and to keep improving. I want to learn, and I want to be a part of pushing Watford to the top.

“I don’t think we’re going to settle for anything less than being number one this year, so hopefully we can achieve that.

“Pre-season was tough, but I’m now feeling fitter and stronger, so I’m ready for the season to start now. While there’s still things we need to work on, I think as a team, we’re looking good and sharp.

“It was a great pre-season and I don’t see why we can’t go to Portsmouth, give them a good game and get the first three points on the board.”

Kavaja has been pleased with all the players he has brought in and the impact they have already had.

He hopes his side can learn from mistakes they made last season and that the new players can help him build a side that performs consistently.

“The new ones that we’ve brought in are not only good players, but really good characters and positive, nice people, which is really important to us," he said.

“We began the season well last year and then dropped off before picking up again, so we want to have that consistency throughout. Having those players with a bit more maturity and experience will obviously help us.”