THE opening round of Women's Super League 2 fixtures will feature the first-ever North-East derby between the newly-formed Durham Women's FC and Sunderland Ladies.
The game, which will be staged at New Ferens Park on Thursday, April 17, will mark Durham's first official fixture since their formation last year.
Sunderland Ladies have a much stronger pedigree, having recently retained their Premier League title, although Mick Mulhern's side will also be making their Super League debut after having been adopted into the new second division.
Sunderland's opening home game of the 2014 season will see them host Reading at the Hetton Centre three days after they have faced Durham, with the visit of Millwall Lionesses on the same day meaning Durham start with back-to-back home matches.
The reverse derby takes place on September 4, with Sunderland hosting Durham at Hetton, and the Super League 2 season concludes at the end of October.
Yesterday also saw the draw for the FAWSL Continental Cup, with Sunderland drawn alongside Super League 1 sides Manchester City and Liverpool as well as fellow Super League 2 outfits Doncaster Rovers Belles and Millwall Lionesses.
The Manchester City game could see England internationals Steph Houghton and Jill Scott line up against Sunderland after having started their careers on Wearside.