Caley Thistle women’s manager Karen Mason has laid down a Championship North title challenge to her squad for the new season.
Inverness begin their campaign with a home match against Westdyke at Canal Park tomorrow, marking their return to action after last season was null and voided due to coronavirus.
Having finished second behind Aberdeen Women in 2019, Caley Thistle are among the favourites to take top honours this term.
This season’s league will only comprise of 10 teams, following the withdrawal of Cove Rangers and Kelty Hearts ahead of the new campaign.
Mason insists her side is capable of gaining promotion but insists the shortened season will mean there is no room for slip ups.
She said: “I think it’s realistic after finishing second last year that our aim and ambition is to go one better and win the league this year.
“Given the squad we’ve got I think we are more than capable of it, and after another year of learning hopefully we are not going to repeat the same mistakes.
“A couple of teams have folded which means less games, so it’s going to be more of a challenge as we can’t have any reliance on anyone else to do us favours.
“We have to just make sure we get the job done.”
Inverness have lost Jodie Malcolm who has left to study at Stirling University, however Mason has bolstered her squad by bringing in Lorna Macrae and Orlaith McVeagh.
Mason feels a bigger pool of players can only bode well for the new campaign, and she added: “We always want to make sure we have a squad of 20, just for worst case scenarios of injuries or work commitments.
“I think it came to fruition a wee bit more after lockdown, when people keen to get back involved in football.
“Having bigger numbers gives us more competition and that has been pushing us on during training so far. That’s hopefully only going to make each individual better, as well as the team.
“We have a squad of around 25 so hopefully that will play to our advantage.”
Mason says excitement is high ahead of the new campaign, adding: “Being in the north, it was a huge bonus we could carry on as usual following the restrictions. It meant the six weeks of pre-season hasn’t gone to waste.
“We are very much raring to go.”