The 2018 NLD Women’s programme was headed up by Dan Edson with coaches Carl Whitley, Gareth Pilkington and Sam Bignall with the NLD Women playing in the Gill Burns RFU Shield competition travelling to Leicestershire & Cheshire and hosting Staffordshire at Derby RFC on the new AGP pitch.
2018 was a bit of a mixed bag. Along with the rest of the country we had to contend with the “Beast from the East”, (messing up this season’s trial), but the good news was a high proportion of returning players to the county programme and some very talented new players who came through the NLD Girls U18’s. Although losing both away matches the Women developed as a team producing ever stronger performances as the programme progressed. Leicestershire were a tough opening match which could have gone either way at half time. The second match saw a travelling NLD squad battle it out against a full Cheshire squad in summer temperatures. The Women finished their programme with a win against Staffordshire, which was always going to be hotly contested, no pun intended; it was 23 degrees though!
NLD Head of Women & Girls Rugby Neil Clack commented; ‘Dan, Carl, Gareth and Sam have again committed their own time into making the CB programme as challenging and rewarding for players as possible; so a big thank you them. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the physios, Steph and Jenny, who have tended to players throughout the programme and to Caitt, who as squad manager, has put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make the programme go as smoothly as possible. It goes without saying that we would not have a programme at all without players who are proud to put on the Blue and White shirt and represent their 3 counties. To all of you who have committed to the this seasons programme, a very big thank you.
With the new season soon upon us we are looking at ways to make the County programme more challenging and rewarding for players and coaches alike. There are several meetings that take place throughout the season which are intended to be your forum to offer your suggestions so please get involved. If you want to challenge yourself and take an active part in the County programme please come along to trial sessions or look out for coaching vacancies on the NLD website. You will always be made welcome and the more support we get the better we play.’