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New era for female players

Posted: 4pm 08 Oct 2021

The Dolphins are looking for players to be part of its inaugural Women’s U-19 2022 Harvey Norman competition team, which aims to kick-off in time for the 2022 season.

The club has started an expression of interest process and needs 26-28 players to field a team.

Head of Football Grant Cleal says joining the U-19s competition is an important step towards entering a team in the QRL’s BHP Premiership open women’s competition, hopefully in 2023.

“We’ve had girls sprinkled through junior team groups from day one, so I’m excited to field a team of young women,” Cleal says.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest in it by emails and phone calls. That’s what the expression of interest process is all about … to find out what appetite there is from players.

“We have purpose-built facilities in the northern stand. It would be nice to get them in there.”

Expressions of interest will close mid-November.

Cleal says the QRL is keen for all Intrust Super Cup clubs to field a team in the BHP Premiership competition in the coming years and starting with the U-19 competition is the best way to set players up for success.

He says the Dolphins’ goal is to have a women’s team playing at the highest level – the same goal it has for its male teams.

“We’d love to field a BHP team and be successful at that level as well,” he says.

“We want this to work and it’s on the back of some really strong numbers with our junior teams throughout the year. This is the right time to do it.

“The (QRL’s) plan is to streamline it and for the women’s competition to run side by side with the Intrust Super Cup.”

He says rugby league offers female players the same benefits as their male counterparts – health and fitness, being part of a team and social opportunities.

At this stage, there is no junior competition for girls so most play in mixed teams until about U-12s.

Cleal says he hopes it will change with the growing profile of the women’s game thanks to State of Origin and the NRLW competition.

To register your interest, visit redcliffedolphins.com.au/2022-womens-u19

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