Two pre-season wins, on the road at Handsworth and Kesteven, have set last season’s demoted side, West Bridgford Ladies RFC, up nicely for the new campaign, which begins coincidentally, with another road trip, they heading to Shropshire, and Bridgnorth Ladies, in the 2 October season opener.
A tough season last time around resulted in their being demoted to the Women’s NC1 Midlands division, but, for captain Paige Baker, it could well be a blessing in disguise, she admitting ahead of the season opening that, although there was pressure last time around, “we didn’t want to go down, it’s actually a good thing.”
In finishing second bottom last time around, in the Women’s Championship Midlands 2, West Bridgford Ladies, who finished a point behind Birmingham Moseley Ladies RFC, will now oppose the likes of Long Eaton Women, Derby Ladies, Lincoln Ladies et al.
“To be honest, we worked really hard, and connected well, as a squad (last season),” began Paige.
“There was a lot more structure and togetherness, so we needed this step back in order to progress.
“Losing the last game (of last season, 60-8, at home to Hitchin), it meant we dropped down, but it’s going to be more comfortable as well as a challenge, for us.”
Moving into the new season though, and after the opener away to Bridgnorth, the ladies of West Bridgford have their first home game, on 16 October, when Cannock Lionesses Ladies visit, before a trip to Coalville Ladies, later in the month.
The first game of the New Year (weather permitting) sees the return fixture with Bridgnorth (8 January), before the last league game sees them make the trip to Coventry Welsh Ladies, at the start of April.
West Bridgford though, they’re more than ready, the successes of pre-season shows just as much – they defeated Handsworth 24-10, before seeing off the Kesteven challenge, 48-5, in preparation for Sunday’s opener.
“We’re now getting the younger generation training with us, which is nice,” continued Paige.
“It’s really good to connect with them, and to be able to bond ahead of the new season.
“Last season there was so much pressure on us, as a squad, in order to connect, and, although we didn’t want to go down, it’s actually a good thing for us, in the long run.”
“We do have a strong structure here, some routine, and we’re looking ahead to what could be a promising season.
“I do want to see a big progression though, to build on what we’ve got and be able to push towards the top of the table; I definitely think we’ve got good things coming to us.
“That and there’s been a good attendance here, at training, so yes, it’s been looking promising over pre-season.”
West Bridgford Ladies RFC begin the new season, away to Bridgnorth Ladies, on Sunday 2 October; keep up-to-date with the clubs progression over the coming season via their socials on Facebook and Twitter.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @BridgyLadies West Bridgford get their league season underway today.