Sunderland Ladies have made a statement of intent with a double capture today.
The Lady Black Cats, just 10 weeks from the start of the WSL1 Sping Series, have signed midfielder Dominique Bruinenberg and goalkeeper Anke Preuss.
Both come with great pedigrees and international experience and it spells welcome good news for Sunderland.
Head coach Carlton Fairweather is rebuilding his squad following the departure of Rachael Laws, Brooke Chaplen, Rachel Furness and Beth Mead after the club's decision to revert to a part-time modal. Preuss has arrived from FFC Frankfurt in and Bruinenberg from ASGM Verona.
Fairweather said the acquisition of the German and Dutch girls is a major boost for the Wearsiders who begin their Spring Series at Birmingham on April 23.
“We are delighted to be bringing in two good quality players who both have experience of playing some of the top teams in Europe in the UEFA Women’s Champions League," said the head coach.
“Both girls have been on our radar for a while and they will be excellent additions to our squad ahead of the Spring Series.”
Preuss brings UEFA Women’s Champions League experience having won the competition in 2015 with Frankfurt.
The 24-year-old has represented the German national team to Under 20 level, including a silver medal at the World Cup in Japan in 2012.
Preuss said: “I am really happy and excited to be here.
"I have watched some FA WSL matches and know some teams from the Champions League. I know that this is a strong league, one of the best in Europe.
“I want to get into the team and have a successful season.
"I am enjoying the opportunity to travel abroad and do what I love, which is playing football.”
Bruinenberg is rated as a technical and tactical midfielder who has been playing for Verona in Serie A.
The 24-year-old Dutch talent has played for the Netherlands up to U19 level and also has Champions League experience.
“I knew that the FAWSL was a strong league and somewhere that I wanted to play," she said in an interview with Sunderland's website.
"I am really excited to be here and I am looking forward to improving as a player at the same time as helping the team to do as well as we can.
“The facilities at the Academy of Light are amazing and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to train here.
“Off the field it is my first time living in England and I want to enjoy every moment and make the best of it.”