Doncaster Belles set for Spring Series opener at Sheffield

Emma Coates. Photo: The FA via Getty Images

Emma Coates. Photo: The FA via Getty Images

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Doncaster Rovers Belles will get their 2017 campaign underway at the second time of asking when they travel to Sheffield FC Ladies in the Spring Series tomorrow.

Emma Coates’ side had been scheduled to face Watford at Rossington Main in the third round of the SSE FA Women’s Cup last weekend - only for the Lady Hornets to pull out of the fixture and forfeit their place in the next round.

Belles have since been drawn away to Sheffield in the fourth round of the competition, and will make a return trip to the Home of Football on Sunday, February 19.

Sheffield defeated Charlton Athletic in the third round with a 2-0 win, while Belles were handed a walkover as a result of Watford’s inability to fulfil the fixture - understood to be due to a shortage of players.

There had been growing concern about the future of the Hertfordshire club but those doubts were seemingly put to bed this week when they appointed Keith Boanas as their new head coach.

Meanwhile, star striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk looks set to return to the side this weekend after making a full recovery from the broken leg that kept her out for the whole of last season.

Long term injury victims Jess Sigsworth (knee) and Rhiannon Roberts (ankle) remain sidelined, while new signing Sophie Walton is not expected to feature until April.

The Spring Series is a one-off competition designed to bridge the gap until the start of the new FAWSL2 season, which has been put back until September.