The news that the green light has been given for the resumption of senior NSW sporting competitions was greeted with plenty of excitement, none more so than amongst the players and staff from the Sharks Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership team.
Waiting patiently for decisions to be made by the NSW government, coach Glenn Brailey and his talented squad have been doing what they can to be ready for a restart, and now with a training date of July 1 and a competition kick off to potentially take place on the weekend of July 18, the Sharks will ramp up preparations and be ready to go.
“It’s great news to hear that the NSW Harvey Norman Women’s competition will be resuming come July, just as it is to hear that all senior rugby league has been approved to resume,” Brailey said.
“The girls have never given up hope and have been really working hard both on their strength and conditioning over the isolation period, which is a real credit to them. It really shows just what rugby league means to them and the importance of the women’s game.
“We have some real talent, a squad mixed with experience and youth in this year’s squad and I believe we have the balance just right to play some exciting football,” Brailey added.
One game off a Grand Final in 2019, the Sharks Women’s Premiership team are set to welcome back the majority of their squad, included amongst them as alluded to by the coach, a mixture of some of the best and most experienced players in the game, playing alongside a group of exciting youngsters.
NSW Women’s Origin reps Corban McGregor, Tiana Penitani and Maddie Studdon are set to return, as is Kiwi international Kiana Takairangi, with Talei Holmes and Tayla Preston now having a season or two of senior rugby league under their belts also aiming to make their mark.
Add to that the likes of Jamie Chapman and Tegan Dymock, the pair having enjoyed a taste of the Harvey Norman Premiership last year after graduating from the Sharks Tarsha Gale side, and Brailey has a team determined to challenge the leading sides once again in 2020.
“The players have spoken about our exit in the Grand Final qualifier in 2019 and they are keen to work hard and put their best foot forward with the hope of giving the 2020 competition a real shake,” he said.
It was Wednesday this week when the NSWRL declared that senior sport competitions, including the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, have been cleared to resume from July 1 after the state Government’s latest announcement.
The decision followed last week’s statement that community football for children in competitions up to and including under 18’s, will also resume next month following the advice from government and health authorities.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said the decision was welcome news for Rugby League and all winter sports across the state and would help the community continue to heal after strict measures were introduced to control the threat of coronavirus.
“This is another great result for Rugby League across the state of NSW and I thank the NSW Government for allowing us to resume,” Trodden said.
Trodden said that training (in groups of up to 10) can begin as soon as clubs have complied with the NSWRL’s COVID-19 regulations that have been developed in line with the Australian Government’s “Return to Sport” framework.
More details about specific competitions in the regions and districts across the state, including a NSWRL women’s competition draw, will be finalised in the coming weeks.
The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s competition had yet to get underway in 2020, with the season shut down and COVID-19 protocols coming into place prior to the originally planned round one matches.