BARNSLEY FC women are back in training as they look to continue their rise of the English league pyramid.

The season is due to start in mid-August, as the Reds join the fourth tier – the National League Division One North.

They have brought in goalkeeper Becky Flaherty – the first of several recruits set to be announced in the near future – and added a first team coach Lee Harrison from tier three Halifax.

Coach Jess Horsley said: “It’s going really well. We have made some really good new signings and resigned some others.

“We’ve had to make some really tough decisions on players from last season because we have to step up a level and it will be really difficult.”

The Reds are set play friendlies against Doncaster Rovers Belles on July 23 then Harrogate five days later before taking on Lincoln City and Mansfield Town – all at home. They could still add one more pre-season fixture to the schedule.

They have begun pre-season after holding trials for new players.

Horsley said: “I am pleased with how it’s going so far. It was a slow start as always but it’s positive and we’re gelling. We’ve had some good sessions this week.

“The fitness of the players is really good.”

Barnsley have been promoted in each of the last two seasons.

Horsley said: “It will be good to see how we compete after two fantastic seasons.

“We’re coming off two promotions so we have momentum and we’re bringing in good players who can help us.

“We will give it everything we’ve got and see how far that takes us.”

Clubs can pay players once they reach the fourth division. Horsley said: “It’s not something that has really been discussed yet.

“At the moment, we’re going to be the same as last season (not paying players).”