League women to tag along for titles: chance to play at Country Championships
By MATT FINDLAY
THE introduction of ladies’ league tag to the 2016 AAMI Country Championships has been met with widespread approval, and Orange CYMS gun Mandy Moore is particularly excited for the developmental prospects the decision encompasses.
Western Division is one of seven sides that are set to compete at the 2016 titles, along with Riverina, Greater Northern, Newcastle, Central Coast, East Coast and the Southern Stars.
Moore, who will play for CYMS 2016 but has stood down from coaching the green and golds, said the timing was perfect to introduce the modified version of the game to higher level competitions.
“I think its probably good timing as I’m not sure if the interest or development of the game would have been ready any earlier, as it is still in the early stages, remembering we have only played league tag in Group 10 for four years, and league has been around for 107,” Moore explained.
“Its just starting to gain structure and momentum in the Group 10 side, so it will be good to see it jump up to the next level and give the players a chance to play the sport at a high level.
“It will actually give them a path to strive to. If the sport wants highly skilled athletes, they have to give them a path for development and rep honours, otherwise, they will stay with hockey, netball or soccer.
“I would hope that it will be successful. I think that it has to be taken seriously though, with processes to follow and a selection criteria etc. with selectors that understand the game.”
While Orange boasts a plethora of talent, Moore said she expects the Rams side would be dominated by Bathurst players - in particular those from the 2015 premiership winning St Pat’s side - although she admitted her knowledge doesn’t extend too much further than Group 10.
“Orange ... players are not as dedicated, nor do they get the structured format for league tag as well as some of the other teams in the area,” she explained.
“I think Sophie Stammers from Blayney will have a great chance amongst the Bathurst girls, and a few of the Cabonne girls know how to really play the game.”
Like the men’s sides, the Rams women’s team will be selected following the Western Division representative cluster.