Decembers ‘Mention of the Month’ – sponsored by Physis Ltd. – is awarded to Lois McConville.
Lois has attended all but a few training sessions to lead and support others, but what makes her hard work more inspirational is that all of this takes place despite of her ACL injury from Sapphire Series in January.
Despite unable to train herself she turns up rain or shine, assisting others in theory and techniques, and also works effortlessly week in and out as part of her presidency role.
This month Lois also drove to the first round of Sapphire Series – missing on the Valkyrie fun bus! – in case of any injuries. Not only this, but she lead on the organisation of our first home tournament and ensuring all were welcome to the event.
In addition, she was the loudest person on the sideline throughout both tournament dates – shouting and singing words of encouragement. When you have a small sideline (especially when all the team are playing non-stop on the field) it really makes a difference on the sideline when you can hear her voice through the wind and rain.
This is why we award her with of her support, organisation, and heart!
As the dust settles from a busy weekend and we all finally thaw out, there are a few thoughts on the team’s performance from coach Browning and coaches Simon and Kate:
“First of all, MVPs. We had decided before the games started that irrespective of what happened we were not going to give MVPs for this round. That 6 of the team were just turning around and going the other way each time, playing in new positions without any fuss made them all MVPs in our eyes.
People underestimate how hard it is to do that. To be mentally focused in knowing what you are doing and changing your mind set from Drive to drive. They all did brilliantly.
Saying that though, congratulations to both Mandy and Elleanor who each made history by being the first to score in Wales and the first to score an offensive TD. Also to Kira for the throw to Elleanor that made it happen.
But our final point is the main one. It has been noted by other coaches remarking on the day, and that is the character of the club. We’ve said It before, and we’ll say it again. The attitude everyone has is amazing. The fact that no one gives up. They keep going and they get those rewards at the end of games. We’ve lost track of the number of games we have scored right at the end of. Alongside that, they play the game in the right way. We’re proud to be in the sideline with you all and even more proud when coaches come up at the end of games full of praise for what they are doing.
The path is there. If we keep putting in the work. If we keep this mentality, then the results will come”.
And he we are again, another month gone in the Valkyries’ season. We had our first games on Saturday, and boy what a day that was! Everyone should be proud of their performance that day.
When it comes to the Mention of the Month, however, it’s not just about how players perform on game days. It’s about all the effort that goes behind the scenes too. It’s about our philosophies as a club, and how that player translates those into their everyday practices.
For this reason, the (November!) Valkyries Mention of the Month – sponsored by Physis Ltd – goes ONCE AGAIN to Katherine for her outstanding dedication to development and learning, even turning up ill to practice to understand theory and game. Congratulations you absolute star.
The first round of Sapphire Series was a fantastic day – despite arriving late due to traffic with only 20 minutes to get ready and warm-up! Ah!
The Valkyries are on their way home from a fantastic day of football. Going away with two losses, 30-6 to Wembley and 25-18 to Kent, the team have a lot to take away from the day – including many positive reflections. Rookies had a demon of a day, touchdowns, blocks, tackles like pros! Vets alike also had a storm, interceptions, and steam training with pressure on the D.
First of all we want to again say how proud we are of everyone. A make shift team with players playing out of position, and the team were competitive in both games. Others may look at the scores and think otherwise but they were much closer than that lets on.
Several coaches on the day from other teams were impressed with how we just kept coming at them the whole day, and how we never stopped fighting. This was shown by the efforts at the end of both games where we scored at the end each time. Well done everyone.
Before we get onto the MVPs, I want to mention a few other performances on the day.
First to Katherine Fretwell, who only left the field for about 3 plays the whole day. Did a great job getting a good catch and also holding up well in coverage and run support.
Sarah Griffiths, who had a good day on Dline, often getting double teamed. While it can feel frustrating sometimes, and it’s often overlooked as it isn’t the most glorious of things to be doing she allowed the line backers behind her to stay free and make plays. A true team effort.
Zoë Jane Wilder as well, having spent the pre-season learning running back, gets thrust into the game at Safety and did a great job. Definitely grew into the position during the day and made some excellent tackles coming down field. Also, switched out to Corner as well when needed – again a true team player.
Another huge thanks to club president Lois McConville who despite traveling up on her lonesome and unable to play due to injury recovery was a huge presence on the sideline cheering and supporting the team. The best cheerleader ever!
But turning to the MVPs now…
On Offence, she made play after play and proved almost impossible to bring down once she had the ball in her hand and was running in space. Even running up the middle she seemed to always make the first defender miss. A rookie that made it look like she had been paying for a couple of years… Laura Johnson. Congratulations.
Defense is a tricky one as there were several outstanding performances. However, the one chosen was outstanding in coverage as well as time and again coming up to make a hit on the runner or making saving tackles coming all the way across the field. The effort shown all day typifies what we are all about and the pick 6 was well deserved… Congratulations Ruth Lewis
Overall… In future, I am going to make sure that she is ill before every game if that is the level she plays at! A one woman wrecking machine all day that was seemingly in on everything. Not only that, but also the little things that go almost unnoticed such as holding the backside and playing her role. Again, I have no idea how she managed it but an absolute stellar performance… Congratulations Lauren Oldacre
Next Round…History in the making
Thank you so much to the Stallions for hosting and the teams for a fantastic day. First round down, next one to come with will be our HOME GAME on the 15th December! For the first time in history Wales will host a women’s American football tournament 😎 details to come THIS WEEK!
Every time we do this monthly award, we can’t get over how quickly time is going! The days to Sapphire Series are getting closer, and the Valkyries are picking up the pace for training and development. There is one Valkyrie in particular, however, who stands out from the ground in her training right now – and that person is Katherine.
Katherine has been to every session come rain, wind, or shine, and she has been extremely focussed during the also. She is picking up techniques extremely quickly, and is an absolute pleasure to coach with a hunger to consistently get better and learn new things. So October’s Mention of the Month, sponsored by Physis Ltd, goes to Katherine – for focus, consistency and bettering herself every week.
It’s been a very busy month for the team with rookie days and fundraisers galore, and now it’s time for September’s “Mention of the Month”: sponsored by Physis Ltd. This month’s mention really does a good job at showing the influence of both team effort and new team members, with the award given to rookie Zoë Wilder.
Zoë has had a few sessions with the team now, dabbling and running back and a few other positions. Her effort and determination at training is worthy enough, but the huge effort she put into the climb and fundraiser after only just joining is what has awarded her the mention.
In a special case we also award the “Mention of the Month” to the club’s first honorary Valkyrie; her daughter (not to forget their noble stead – Meg the dog!). In horrible conditions they both continued to the top, which was truly inspiring. Well done both!!