Methley Warriors under 16s Girls team were welcomed down to Wheldon Road by Castleford Tigers’ Women’s side to introduce them to the Tigresses Youth setup.
This year the Tigresses, along with the Tigers Foundation, introduced a Scholarship and Academy system to help develop young women rugby league players.
Since its inception, the programme has already seen two debutants in 2022 with Alice Iwanejko and Maddison Rainey making their First Team bows recently against Wakefield Trinity.
With Head Coach Matty Faulkner eager to implement an effective player pathway structure, he and his coaching staff invited the young players at Methley down for a training session.
Paul Shepherd, who coaches Methley’s under 16s as well as the Fords’ Scholarship team spoke of how beneficial the visit was.
“The team have invited the community club down and we’re doing a session down here then they’re taking us into the gym to help us out in that aspect.
“We’re growing quite rapidly this year, with 24 players signed on. It’s good to see the women’s game growing and we want to continue that growth.”
Sessions like the one with Methley are crucial to strengthen the link between the Women’s side and its local community clubs as well as giving the young players a taste of what they could achieve in the future.
Fellow Head Coach at Methley Warriors, David McCabe, affirmed that it is crucial for his players to have something they can aspire to.
“The sessions were important to help girls who don’t have the opportunity to come down and train with us, so this is the chance for them to come down and see what it’s like for them in the future if they work hard enough.”
“We started only 3 years ago with 6 players. With recruitment improving, now we’ve got 2 girls’ teams and a women’s team. To link up with the Tigers is huge and it helps us promote our club as a girl’s club, which .puts us on a map as one of the teams in the area for the girls to come and play. Even if they have no experience if they want to come and play they can.”
Tigresses Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jack Pullan, is in his first season with the Club and put forward how vital the Academy system is as well as laying out what his job role entails.
“A lot of the players will feed into the Academy and the First Team in the next year, depending on ability and whether the coaches think they are capable or not.
“From my side in the gym, we have to make sure they are prepared for all of the physical stresses that come with the league. It will be a case of getting them into the gym and some will have experience, but some won’t. We’ll make sure everyone is familiar with the exercises. It’s all about doing the work progressively and slowly, but most importantly correctly and safely”
“For me, working with them has been fun. It’s been good to see how they’ve progressed with the off-field side of stuff. As a first-time job as a coach, I’ve learned a lot about how I want to coach and having to alter how you act with certain players, but on a whole, they’re working very hard.”
The Fords’ Women’s squad are back in action at The Jungle on Sunday when they come up against Bradford Bulls for a 2pm kick-off and 2022 Members can get access to the fixture for FREE! Under 16’s also gain entry free of charge and for everyone else, it is just £5. Car parking is available at the stadium too priced at just £2.