BETH Mead hopes 2015 will be the year of the underdog.
The striker will carry much of Sunderland Ladies’ goal hopes into the Women’s Super League 1 programme, which starts next Wednesday night at defending champions Liverpool.
It’s completely new for us being in a different league and playing against some world-class players, but it will be exciting and we’ll enjoy itBeth Mead
It is a daunting opening for the Lady Black Cats who have been installed as favourites for the drop from the top flight.
But Mead hopes Sunderland will surprise their rivals on their return to the top division.
“We will work hard and hopefully we can prove people wrong,” the teenager told the Echo.
“I’m not sure if they will, but hopefully teams might underestimate us.
“Hopefully we can give as good as we get.
“It’s completely new for us being in a different league and playing against some world-class players, but it will be exciting and we’ll enjoy it.”
Mead and Sunderland are in good nick ahead of the big kick-off.
The Cats have won three and drawn two of their six pre-season games, while Mead went with England on an U23 camp to Spain, making appearances in both friendlies against Sweden and the USA.
“It went well in La Manga – I was involved in both games,” said the 19-year-old, who had several LIverpool players for company at the Spanish sports complex.
“I’ve done the age groups from Under-15 upwards, so I’m slowly but surely getting up there, I’ll just have to keep working hard.
“I really enjoyed it, the training and the games.
“There was a bit of banter (among the girls), but no one was giving too much away.”
Mead was last season’s goalden girl in the team’s WSL2 championship triumph.
She will be expected to lead the way again though she now has expert support in the shape of ex-Scotland forward Suzanne Mulvey.
“It’s up to everyone in the team to supply goals, not just me,” she explained. “Everyone contributes in our side.
“I’ve played different roles in pre-season and it’s been about trying to develop as a player, learn different things, get a bit more experience which will help me in the long run.
“Pre-season has been good here, we’re getting there. I can’t wait to get started in WSL1, it seems a long time since last year.
“But it’s exciting and getting Liverpool first is a tough test.”