MARIEANNE Spacey-Cale attributes some of her team’s table-topping league success to the improved squad depth, adding: “We need to use players accordingly, it’s a long season.”

Saints Women are first-place in the National League Southern Premier after five wins in five fixtures, amassing a goal difference of 26 following two successive 9-0 victories.

The third division side made a number of big signings throughout the summer, including the likes of Northern Ireland international Ciara Watling, Championship Leeta Rutherford and former Women’s Super League ace Laura Rafferty.

The signings have helped propel Spacey-Cale’s team, who were awarded promotion during the off-season, into dreaming of reaching the Women’s Championship at the first time of asking.

On her new-found squad depth, the gaffer said: “It has been the same since pre-season. We’ve got real good depth in the squad and we need to use players accordingly because it’s a long season.

“As disappointed as players will be about not being selected either for the squad or the game itself, their attitudes have been great when they have come in.

“Almost to say ‘I’m here and I’m going to grab this opportunity.”

Spacey-Cale also gave an update on the fitness of her squad, with some players nursing injuries and return to fitness’ for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

She added: “Rosie (Parnell) came back against Gillingham from a slight injury and she’s getting more minutes in games and Shelly (Provan) has been on and off but has certainly come in and done a really good job.

“She’s very committed, whether she’s just in the squad or whether she’s playing, to being the best version of herself she can be and especially out there on the pitch.

“She’s (Ella Morris) still in the recovery phase as she gets match fitness back to where it was,” said the manager.

“But she’s worked really well and got herself into a great physical shape which we’re getting the rewards from at the moment."