Guest blog from Head Coach, Simon Browning
A new season and a new challenge.
It seems that taking on something new is becoming a habit for the team. Playing friendlies against local men’s flag teams and then being the only female team in a tournament shortly after. Entering our first national flag tournament and then our first tackle tournament a couple of months later. Instead of breaking for the summer, taking new players off to a summer tournament to get their first taste of action. Players getting their first taste of full 11-a-side action at the national Diamond series. And now…
…Well now we look to make the step up again. Moving from the 5-a-side tackle format to the 7-a-side format. It might not sound a big difference but it represents a huge step forward for the team. It means playing at the top level. It means an opportunity to really showcase what we are building here in South Wales.
The sport, from the women’s perspective, is growing so fast. More and more women are taking up the game and it can only mean positive things going forward. It is exciting to see the teams we faced in the last Sapphire also looking to take this step to 7’s as well. We had so much fun at the last tournament competing against them and we have a lot of respect for what they are doing. It is going to be great for us to get the chance to face them in this new format.
There will certainly be a lot of chances to do so, even outside the Sapphire tournament.
The Topaz events in November allow us the opportunity to get valuable experience of the new 7-a-side format in a controlled environment, and ensure every player has plenty of game time. Following this, we welcome the Staffordshire Surge to Cardiff for a day of joint training ending in a full game.
From a coaching point of view, the most exciting thing will be seeing the development of the players over these next few months. Everyone who has previously started with the team did so without any real background in the sport. Some may have watched a game either locally with the South Wales Warriors or on television but for all concerned this was something new. However, every one of them has embraced it, given it their all and the results speak for themselves. The team is hungry to develop. It is hungry to keep pushing forward and try new things. This move to 7’s represents the next new thing. How far will this team go? As far as it wants to. There is no limit to what it can achieve.