Pre-season is 5 weeks in now and players are beginning to get to know the new coaches and the new set up. Coaches are also beginning to get to know players. This Sunday we host Sutton and Epsom Ladies in our first pre-season fixture, kick-off is 2pm at Dry Leas.. It'll be a great opportunity for the new look squad to get some game time under their belts, and to begin to build relationships with the players around them. If you’re at a loose end, please come down and support the team if you can. It would be massively appreciated by the whole squad.
Everyone has worked incredibly hard throughout July and are excited to get in to competitive matches. From my point of view the players have been excellent, working hard and really understanding what the coaches are demanding from them. We have had between 5 and 10 new players at least with other new players making contact with us on a weekly basis. There are also three new coaches, including myself.
Olivia Perry, former Head Coach is now the new Women and Girl's Director of Rugby, I have become the new Head Coach, my twin brother, Will Harwood is the Forwards Skills Coach, Sam Driver is the Forwards Set Piece Coach, both new additions. Carly Hadfield will look after Halfbacks (9 and 10) with Lizzie Hearn looking after the Back Three (11, 14 and 15) as well as acting Team Manager. Richard Aldred has also come on board, he will be filming all of our matches.
Off field as well as having a new, structured and organised coaching set up, we have also introduced several Women's Committee Positions. These changes off field, to the infrastructure will see short term effects but longer term we'll be in a much better place to ensure sustainability of Henley Hawks Women RFC.
The goal this season is to start to develop a second team which will allow us to have greater strength in depth and to develop a competitive training and playing environment and hopefully to start to challenge towards the top end of Championship South 1. We have already reached out to the universities in the area to help forge links between the club and them.
It is a time of huge excitement, change and a bit of uncertainty. However as we approach the end of pre-season i feel we are in good shape to hit the ground running when we host Supermarine in the first league match on Sunday September 8th.
A massive thank you to the team’s Main Sponsor, G.D Evans Interiors Ltd. Gary has been very generous in his support of the team, and we are all very appreciative of this. Fingers crossed we’ll continue the winning streak in the new shirts, and we look forward to wearing the new training kit soon!
We are always on the look out for new players. Any players, any age, experience or ability are welcome. We train Tuesday and Thursday 7 30 - 9. Come and join the Hawks.
Joe Harwood, Head Coach