Thornton's Lauren Faulkner said The Redbacks are under no illusion about the tough season ahead but was nonetheless looking forward to their return to Herald Women's Premier League.
The Redbacks withdrew from first grade of the Northern NSW Football's top-flight women's competition midway through last season.
When the Newcastle Herald caught up with Faulkner at the season launch this month, she said the main goal for 2019 would be "just to get through the season".
"We had some problems last year but this year we've come back stronger, so I think it should be a good season," Faulkner said.
The Redbacks are a young side led by defender Anais Moore and have plenty of emerging talent, including 17-year-old Kirstie Power-Walford.
The latter was named one to keep an eye on this year by Faulkner.
"If she gets a run up the front, watch out," she said before adding Power-Walford was also one who lightened the mood at training.
Back-to-back champions Merewether were the team she was most wary of and if given the chance Faulkner would add United strike weapon Rhali Dobson to her side.
Thornton are gearing up for a tough four-day period in which they play competition heavyweights Warners Bay and United.
The Redbacks travel to John Street Oval on Sunday to take on the Panthers then meet Merewether in a rescheduled round-two clash three days later.
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