Beretta Famila Schio captain Elisabetta Moro doesn't mince her words when asked about the forthcoming season in Italy and the EuroLeague Women.
Schio have the top player in the Italian game in EuroLeague Women all-star Laura Macchi and they have also signed Janel McCarville, Liron Cohen, Maja Erkic and Jennifer Nadalin.
"A very strong team has been built, maybe the strongest in recent years," the 35-year-old Moro says.
"The Club has invested heavily to point clearly to the top of the league and in Europe."
American center McCarville won the EuroLeague earlier this year with Spartak Moscow Region and Israel playmaker Cohen played for Wisla Can-Pack Krakow at the Final Four.
Erkic is a Slovenia international who has joined from Faenza and ex-Reyer Venezia star Nadalin represented Italy this summer, averaging 14.3 points and six rebounds in EuroBasket Women Division A.
|20. Laura Macchi (Beretta-Famila )|
Sometimes, however, high-profile signings do not guarantee wins.
"Beyond the names, we must find the balance, that chemistry on the court," Moro says.
"We have to be aware, each great team has its own style just like in football.
"There's the Juve style and a Milan style.
"At Schio there's a winning mentality that forces you to give your best always."
Low Post Power
The acquisition of 27-year-old pivot McCarville, and then Nadalin, a 27-year-old power forward/center, sent out a loud statement about the club's ambition.
Schio confirmed her arrival on July 22.
"We have power and muscle under the basket," said general manager Paolo De Angelis.
Nadalin is very happy to be onboard.
"I have found a very positive atmosphere at Schio," she says.
"There is the right environment to do well in the domestic season and in the EuroLeague.
"Here at Schio, a very competitive team has been constructed."
The competition will be fierce in Italy and on the continent.
"Our rivals in the domestic league will be Taranto and Venezia but we have to keep an eye out for Umbertide and Faenza," Nadalin says.
"With the roster we have, we will be able to use our rotations which not many other teams will.
"That could be our advantage."
The Fan Element
As always, the sixth man will be a crucial ingredient for Schio.
"It's always difficult to play in Schio as a rival because the PalaCampagnola (arena) always makes itself heard," Nadalin says.
"I am delighted to be part of this team and to be able to play in front of these fans."
"The fans are our strength," Moro says.
"Last year, they were always close to us with great passion and I hope this year can make us feel their affection and warmth."
Perhaps most important to the success of Schio is the health of Macchi.
The 31-year-old forward went down with plantar fasciitis in mid-April and has spent the summer trying to get back to full fitness.
The club is hoping she will be ready to go for the start of the season.
Schio will face Frisco Sika Brno, Gorzow, Ros Casares, Nadezhda and Bourges in EuroLeague Women Group D.
The first game will be on October 27 at home to Brno.