Huddersfield Town Ladies are confident they can cope without Emily Heckler as they head into the new FA Women’s Premier League campaign.
The former Doncaster Belles striker, who has been a regular goal-getter for Town, has joined Northern Division rivals Fylde Ladies.
Chairman David Mallin is hopeful Heckler could return to Storthes Hall Park some time in the future.
Ahead of Sunday’s home opener against Blackburn Rovers (2.00) Mallin admitted: “We have lost a good player.
“But I think we have also recruited well, and with 50 players at the club, we can field three senior sides, which is great.”
The new arrivals include keeper Lauren Santoro, development player of the year at Sheffield FC last season.
Full-back Sophie Scargill is back after finishing her university studies while Amy Battel has played for FC United of Manchester.
Georgia Hewitt has experience with Derby County and Aston Villa and Amelia Turner with Doncaster Belles and Chelsea.
Midfield has been strengthened by the signing of Manchester City academy product Katie Halligan and Barnsley’s Charley Evans.
Town hope both Danielle Biglin, Wakefield’s top scorer last season, and he speedy Isabel Thomas will help make up for the loss of Heckler.
Mallin added: “We still want to get a few more in if possible, and we are particularly after another striker.
“Ash Vickers (Town’s manager) and his staff are positive and optimistic for the season ahead.
“We’ve had mixed results in pre-season but we look good and seem to be playing some nice football.
“We are hoping to build on last season (when Town finished eighth) and improve further in all competitions.
“Ash has his targets, a top-half finish would be nice and to challenge near the top would be great.
“However there are a lot of well-funded teams at our level now.”