Spennymoor Town Ladies begin their 2023/24 campaign on Sunday when they travel to fellow NERWFL Premier Division outfit South Shields in the League Cup (2pm kick-off).
In what will be seen by many as a tough draw, Shackleton’s side will be looking to start the season strongly whilst taking stock of how they match up against their local rivals.
Moors have enjoyed a good pre-season, drawing with National League Norton & Stockton Ancients and overcoming Thornaby, whilst they also produced an encouraging display in defeat to Durham Cestria so optimism is high ahead of the big kick-off.
Shackleton’s side have been bolstered by additions this off-season too, with seven players joining Moors for the Premier Division season. There’s a good chance a number will feature on Sunday, as fans can look forward to an entertaining fixture against a South Shields side that appear full of confidence under new manager, Matt Gatiss.
“We’ve got a few out,” revealed Shackleton. “Beth Enguita won’t be available, and Lily Jackson is going to be out injured for a few weeks.
“Other than that, there’s one or two we’ll be looking at in training but we’re pretty close to full strength.
“It’s a very tough draw for us to come up against Shields but at the very least it’ll give us a chance to compare ourselves to a side in our division.”
Moors will be hoping to advance in a competition they hold an interest in, with Shackleton admitting that a cup run is something he’s keen to experience this campaign.
“Last year we did well in the County Cup but this year I wouldn’t mind having a deeper run.
“Obviously last year when we knew we could go up we put all of our efforts into the league, but this season, with a few additions, it’ll be nice to enjoy a run in one of the cups.”
Kick-off on Sunday is 2pm and the game is being hosted at Harton Welfare Club in South Shields, where the World Cup Final between England and Spain will be screened ahead of the game.