Doncaster Belles set for FAWSL1 baptism of fire

Belles skipper Leandra Little and teammates celebrate promotion back to FAWSL1.
Belles skipper Leandra Little and teammates celebrate promotion back to FAWSL1.

Doncaster Rovers Belles’ first game back in the top flight of women’s football will be at home to reigning FAWSL champions Chelsea.

In a baptism of fire, Belles will welcome the Blues to the Keepmoat Stadium on Thursday, March 26.

And as well as going head-to-head with the champions, Glen Harris’s side will face last season’s top three sides in their first four fixtures.

Belles follow up the Chelsea game with a trip to Birmingham City Ladies before May sees them take on Manchester City (a) and Arsenal (h).

The new FAWSL season runs from March to November. Belles will bring the curtain down on their campaign at fellow newly-promoted side Reading on November 6.

Doncaster were demoted from FAWSL1 in 2013 after failing to meet FA criteria.

They finished second in FAWSL2 in 2014, just missing out on promotion to a Sunderland side that emerged as surprise title contenders in last season’s top division.

Last season’s second-place finish, behind Reading, was enough to secure Belles promotion to a newly-expanded nine-team top flight.

Harris has signed Liverpool trio Natasha Dowie, Becky Easton and Katrin Omarsdottir, Durham goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse and former Belles striker Jess Sigsworth over the winter.