THREE pre-season friendlies separate Royal Wootton Bassett Ladies between now and their FA Cup preliminary round tie against Chipping Sodbury – and joint-manager Jonny House is eager for the season proper to get underway.

This season marks House’s second year in charge at Gerard Buxton Sports Ground in company with former Westbury United and Frome Sports boss James Goddard.

The pair have a squad of 17 in place for the upcoming South West Women’s Football League Premier Division campaign, which will see Bassett tackle nine teams twice to make for an 18-game season.

Keynsham Development, Marine Academy Plymouth and Callington Town have been tipped by House as the division’s danger teams.

He added: “We hope to go in and do well, but obviously we’re entering the league a bit blind.

“I’ve never coached at this level of women’s football. I know coaches that coach a bit higher, but none at this level.

“We’ve got the facilities and a good squad in place.”

The current boom in women’s football – helped by the on-pitch success for Phil Neville’s Lionesses – hasn’t quite reached Bassett’s first team yet.

House explained the club’s youth system, though, is looking stronger than ever.

And he expects a flurry of teenage players to emerge into the women’s game over the next five years.

“Personally, we haven’t noticed a rise just yet. Those players that have got involved recently are still a few years off playing ladies football,” said House.

“But Bassett have started a youth section that has decent numbers. The club is certainly seeing the benefits of the increase in popularity – and hopefully that will transpire into the first team in a few years’ time.

“We’re hoping the youngsters can be our mascots – and there are girls that play in boys teams at the moment.

“We’re doing our bit to give youngsters something to be passionate about.

“We did mascots for a cup game last year, and two of the younger girls were buzzing to be in the tunnel.”

Bassett play their fifth pre-season friendly on Sunday when travelling to Welsh side Port Talbot.

Swindon Town Women are also in action.

They face Oxford City Ladies at Court Place Farm on Sunday (2pm) in their final pre-season friendly before hosting MK Dons the week after in the FA Cup.