SWINDON Town Women manager Jamie Lloyd-Davies believes his side have an opportunity to make the rest of the league stand up and take notice with a win over Southampton Women’s this weekend.

Town get their National League Division One South West campaign underway on Sunday as they take on the team that put five goals past Brislington in their opening fixture.

Both teams have new managers coming into the season, with Lloyd-Davies being tested in women’s football for the first time following spells in charge of Weston-super-Mare and Corsham Town in the men’s game.

The former Swindon Town men’s academy goalkeeping coach knows his new team will be in for a tough test in their league opener, but was buoyed by the performance of his players in their 4-0 League Cup defeat to MK Dons Women last week.

Lloyd-Davies said: “Southampton are a tough team to face, and they’ve gone through a transitional period too with a new manager now in place.

“By all accounts, he is trying to do things the right way and get his girls to play some fantastic football.

“I’ve been watching as much of them as I can recently, and they look a good unit.

“It’s going to be a tough test for us, but we’ll put a game plan in place and see how they get on.

“Having seen my players and watched how they performed last weekend, I believe we have a good opportunity to lay a marker down in the league.”

Town will continue to play at Fairford Town’s Cinder Lane for their upcoming campaign, but Lloyd-Davies is already dreaming of a day where his players are afforded the opportunity to regularly stride out onto the County Ground pitch as the bond between the men’s and women’s team continues to flourish.

He said: “The club is starting to see benefits of having girls football – it’s a matter of continuing that link between ourselves and the men’s team.

“Who knows – one day we could be playing at the County Ground. Our opposition last week (MK Dons) play on the first team pitch, which proves women’s football is now being taken seriously.

“We’re very lucky with what we have at Fairford, everyone there does an amazing job – the groundsman and bar staff.

“If Town supporters can come along and boost the squad, that’d be fantastic. It’d be great to see as many people at Fairford as possible.

“We’re delighted to be there, and they’re allowing us to put our own stamp on the club by pinning up Swindon Town Women posters and boards.”