Merewether may have slipped up in the opening round of Herald Women's Premier League but key player Rhali Dobson is confident they have the squad to produce an historic championship threepeat this year.
United became the first WPL club to capture the minor premiership-championship double in 2015.
Last year they collected an unprecedented third grand final win when they secured back-to-back victories in the WPL championship decider. No club has won three in a row.
Dobson, who returned to Merewether for a third season from W-League side Melbourne City, has no doubt the competition will be fiercer than ever and singled out New Lambton and South Wallsend as teams she was most wary of when the Newcastle Herald spoke to her at the WPL launch last week.
United sustained big losses with the departure of club mainstays Lori Depczynski and Leticia Quinlan but have welcomed back midfield lynchpin Jane McDonald and added new faces Courtney Anderson, Katy Gray and Georgia Minors.
"We expect ourselves to be a lot stronger, a lot more consistent this year," Dobson said. "It's going to help that we've got a bit more squad depth."
The Herald posed a range of probing questions to each player representative at the competition's season launch to help gain an insight into the eight clubs.
When asked a rival player she would like to recruit, Dobson was quick to name Adamstown captain Elodie Dagg.
"I've played with her previously and she has the potential to change a game," Dobson said of the talented Rosebud midfielder.
"She's got a wicked sense of humour and she's just good for club culture and the team around her."
As for her own side, Dobson predicted fellow Mid North Coast product Anderson would flourish this season.
"Based on pre-season and other seasons it would be Courtney Anderson," she said when asked to name a Merewether player to watch.
"She's very quick, she can read play well, she listens to instruction. There's a lot for her to give. There's a lot for her game to develop and I think she's just one of those unknown players that's really going to come forward and I'm really looking forward to what she has to offer in this competition."
Dobson also revealed long-serving Merewether player Ellie Withers provides the laughs at training and what makes coach Cassandra Koppen lose her cool.
Merewether sustained a 4-2 loss to New Lambton as the Eagles clearly stated their premiership intentions in round one last weekend.
United will look to rebound against Thornton at Myamblah Oval on Sunday. In other round-two actions, the Eagles travel to Taree to take on Mid North Coast, Warners Bay are at home to Wallsend and Adamstown host South Wallsend.
Stay tuned for insight into other WPL teams over coming days with player videos to come from Sam Bestwick (Mid North Coast) and Lauren Faulkner (Thornton).
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