Four new signings have been made in 2015, as the coaching staff look to keep improving after the first Super League campaign last year.
It’s not just the playing side that has changed, with Lauren Davey taking over from Chris Thurston and becoming the Golden Girls’ new assistant manager.
And Davey is impressed with the Golden Girls’ attitude heading into the game: “The girls have just got a great attitude and are really raring to go, first thing they said is that they can’t wait until Thursday,” she said.
“While not vital, it’s always good to get off to a decent start, it settles the nerves and gives you confidence. We’re looking to get the best possible result that we can against Oxford and get our season rolling.”
There were mixed emotions for Watford in the games against The U’s last year; an impressive 2-1 win away from home was followed later in the season with a loss at home by the same scoreline, albeit with an injury hit side.
And the new assistant knows it won’t be easy tonight: “They’ve got lots of good players, are a good unit and they’ll definitely be a hard team to play against,” said Davey.
“I think it’s always difficult to know where teams rank at this stage of the season as teams have brought new players in.
“Last year we had a good win in the first game. The second was disappointing so we’ve definitely got some motivation to put that right – we weren’t happy with how we performed and hopefully that’ll give us that extra incentive to do well this week.”
The Lady Hornets have already had to battle adversity in 2015, overcoming a number of injuries to key personnel to progress in the FA Women’s Cup.
While the youngsters have stepped in and impressed, getting most of the regular first teamers back can only be seen as a positive.
“We’ve had a few injuries towards the beginning of the year, but it’s looking like they’re getting fit now,” Davey reveals.
“It’s actually worked well because we’ve got good strength in depth with 30 players having played for the first team in pre-season.
“It’s important to get people back, especially the likes of Megan Wynne – getting your captain and leader back is really important.
“The youngsters have stepped up, which is pushing those experienced players as well which is brilliant because competition for places is always how you’re going to get better.”