The Reds finished just two points behind Peamount United in the race for last year’s Women’s National League title.
With no silverware to show for an impressive season the Dublin club will be looking to rectify that in 2020 and hit the ground running when Cork City visit Tolka Park on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
Manager Dave Bell is taking it one game at a time however.
“A lot of people will think that we will automatically be in the top three this season, but I feel that you always have to earn the right to be competing at the top of the table,” Bell said, speaking to the WNL website.
“We have a very good squad and we feel ready for the season. I set targets for each game and I feel if you look any further beyond that then you can get yourself in trouble.
“So let’s focus on the first game against Cork.
“Cork have a lot of very quick, young players and I expect our game against them to be a difficult test – and we would be foolish not to expect anything other than that.”
Shelbourne have a full squad to choose from for their opening fixture.
The Rebels finished in the bottom half last season 13 points behind fourth placed Galway.
City have a tough task ahead of them for their opening fixture but manager Ronan Collins is looking forward to seeing where his side is at early on this season.
“In terms of targets, we are going to go game from game,” he told the WNL website.
“We’ve looked at a lot of stuff defensively that we want to try to build on for this season. It’s funny though because we are more experienced this year but younger overall so we have to bring that young talent along.
“Shelbourne have a really good squad with loads of talent and they move the ball really well. We’ve always enjoyed the challenge of playing against Shels and our target is to put in a really good performance against them.
“We’re going to have to play Shels at some stage so it’s great to be able to get a marker very early in the season. The girls are really looking forward to it and we’re excited to get going.”
Cork have no injury concerns going into tomorrow’s game.
Referee: Paula Brady
Cork City lost all four meetings with Shelbourne last season including a WFAI Cup Quarter-Final meeting.
Shelbourne 3-0 Cork City