Faulkner focussed on 2022 Women’s Super League season

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Castleford Tigers Women get their 2022 Betfred Women’s Super League season underway at The Millennium Stadium this weekend against Featherstone Rovers!

It is expected to be a hotly contested derby match which will kick-off at 2pm on Sunday as the Tigresses look to kick-off their league campaign with a positive start.

Ahead of the season opener, Tigers Women’s Head Coach Matty Faulkner sat down with to talk about the progression of his team and his ambitions for the year.

Faulkner began by explaining that both the coaching staff and players are eager to get the season underway, by saying: “It’s an exciting time because the girls have worked really hard over the last few weeks. We probably had a bit of a shorter pre-season than we would have liked but I think the Challenge Cup was good for us to see where we are.

“I am hoping we can keep moving forward and working on our game. We are all seeing it as a process, but we want to see improvements from those cup games.”

Earlier in the year, the Fords’ Women’s team took part in three Challenge Cup fixtures in March and April, but despite not being able to pick up a victory during that period, the Head Coach put forward that it was a positive for the group to be able to gel on the field.

“Having any games are a real help to show you where you are, how you are performing and what you need to work on. The competition we had was good for us because we played some strong teams in the Challenge Cup.

“We have set a marker to keep improving on the performances we put in and the girls who have come in can show us what they’re made of. We’ve kept doing what we have been doing and what we think is right for the girls as rugby players.

“Everyone involved is focussed on providing the best programme we can. On the field, we have been doing a lot of skill development and looking at what different shapes we can play because we have a couple of really talented halfbacks.

“We will keep building on things and try to stick to our initial goals for the season.”

It has been a busy off-season for Faulkner and his staff behind the scenes with a number of exciting new faces coming through the door at the Club and he outlined that his focus has been on building a strong culture within the group.

“We had to put in a lot of work in terms of recruitment and we have made sure that we have got the right people in as well as the right players. The girls who have come in have been working really hard at training and in the gym and they will reap the rewards from that moving forward.

“A lot of the girls have already got some experience in the Challenge Cup and all of them have shown an excellent attitude. I’m really hopeful that we will see the rewards of that in the upcoming fixtures and I think we have a fully fit squad going into the first game which is always a big benefit.”

It won’t be the first time that the Tigresses have faced off against Featherstone in 2022 with the rivals coming up against each other in the Challenge Cup group stages in early April.

Rovers came away with the victory on that occasion, however, Faulkner claimed that playing them for the second time in quick succession will provide him with a yardstick on how far his pack have improved since their first meeting.

“They caused us some problems in the Challenge Cup and they exploited some of our weaknesses. They have a really big pack and sharp edges that can also go around you, so we are going to have to be on top form to try and stop their main threats.

“I think it will be a good gauge for us because we played them not that long ago and we want to be able to keep control of the ball a little bit better. We have to make it difficult for them to come into our end and score as well as being a bit smarter with how we play.”

With a number of new players and staff joining the Tigers setup for this term, Faulkner proclaimed that his main aim for the year is predominantly to focus on laying the foundations for the future but maintained that they are also focussed on picking up positive match results along the way.

“We want to grow as a team and grow as a pathway. We’ll set our goals for the season and the girls will set theirs.

“The biggest goal for us off the field is about having that full pathway by the end of the year because we want to have that conveyor belt of girls coming through.

“On the pitch, we want to keep putting in performances and get better every week. It’s a process and we know that and I would like to think we will improve every week and get where we want to be.”

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