Livingston Women’s coach Paul Jaconelli says his side are targeting the title as they get their Championship South campaign underway on Sunday.
The Lionesses host Edinburgh Caledonia at the Tony Macaroni Arena (12 noon kick-off) with their sights set firmly on achieving promotion to the second tier in their inaugural season.
Livi had been sitting top of the league a month into the 2020 campaign before that was brought to a halt due to the Covid pandemic with the season then scrapped and declared null and void.
It’s been 17 months since their last competitive fixture and Jaconelli admits the coaching staff and the players all have the ‘good kind of nerves’ heading into Sunday’s opening league match.
Speaking to the Courier, he said: “It’s been the longest pre-season ever but the last four weeks or so we could feel everything was a bit more normal and you could sense the excitement from the players that they knew the season was starting.
“I think that sense of excitement is even greater because of what’s gone on in the last 18 months or so and the fact they’ve had to wait this long and there will be nerves on Sunday, but it’s the good kind of nerves, it’s the nerves you want to have before important games.”
He added: “We’ve played some really good teams in pre-season who are in the leagues above us and it’s given us great foresight into where we need to be and what level we need to be performing at to ultimately get to where we see this club being.”
With one team getting automatic promotion from the third tier and second place leading to a promotion play-off, the gaffer knows where he wants to finish the campaign – but admits that will be no easy task.
He said: “We’re targeting winning the league, that’s what we’re striving to achieve. Second place would take you into a play-off with a Championship North team but we’d like to avoid that.
“We’re under absolutely no illusions as to how difficult it’s going to be to achieve that, but we want to set the bar high for the girls. We need to be at it from the first game to last.
“I feel as though we’re in a very good position and we’ve got a really good side but you can’t quite tell until you get playing the games and we get to do that from Sunday.
“It’s a big day for the club and hopefully one we can seal with three points.”
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