While the Mudgee Dragons are preparing for their season as defending premiers, the Ladies’ League Tag side was making sure they could field a team in the coming year.
The 2016 season was a disappointing one for the ladies, in part due to a lack of numbers in the side, from both outside commitments and early season injuries that left the squad as bare-bones as they come.
Finishing just one spot from the bottom of the ladder with two wins to their name and a draw that denied the Cowra Magpies a spot in the finals, the Dragons will be looking to forget the past season.
Moving forward, the future looks hopeful for the ladies division, with two new leaders coming in the form of co-coaches Min Quayle and Kelly O’Connor, both stepping into player-coach positions in 2017.
As well as the signing of the coaches, many promising young players will be moving up to the squad, with the goal of providing the team with depth that they were sorely lacking last season.
Quayle, who made 12 appearances for the Dragons after moving to Mudgee at the beginning of last year, believes that the new season will bring a lot of positives for the ladies side.
“It’s a new season, and we didn’t get many wins last time out so we’re going to look to change that,” she said.
“A lot of the problems were that we had a small squad before we even started and then a few early injuries really dropped us down.”
“Some games we barely even had one or two substitutes when we were competing, which makes it really hard on every game when you’re playing from whistle to whistle with no breaks.”
Quayle believes that the shared load between herself and O’Connor will allow for a lot more focus on training and preparation for game days.
“Neither of us could really afford to be dedicating ourselves full time, so to split the load means the team will still be getting the time it needs to practice, and that will be key.”
“We had barely any training times last year, we couldn’t get together and we didn’t have a lot of focus.”
“The team would turn up to the matches and we wouldn’t be ready, so we just didn’t win many last season.”
“The lack of training hurt us, so we’re going to be doing two sessions a week now once our preseason actually starts.”
“We’ll start later than the boys, they have preseason matches lined up, but we just don’t have the time for that and we don’t have any early games.”
Once the ladies’ preseason begins however, Quayle is bringing the sides together.
“We are going to train together on Tuesdays, and have it be a whole club training day, which means we feel more like one big team and we get to learn from each other.”