The Beaudesert Kingfishers are calling for players to join the club’s maiden under-16 women's side.
President Matt Haack said it would be the Kingfishers first ever junior female team, forming the missing link between under 12s where the girls play with the boys and senior football.
He said the club’s long-term goal was to field a female team in every grade but its immediate focus was to ensure the program in place worked for the current crop.
“We wanted to concentrate on the under-16s and put all of our efforts into these girls,” he said.
The fledgling squad has been training for two weeks already under coach Russell Hill in preparation for the season ahead, which begins in April.
Hill, who in his heyday captained Australian schoolboys and played in the 1990 Western Suburbs under-21 outfit that overcame a Gordon Tallis led St George to win the premiership, has a wealth of rugby league knowledge to pass on to his charges.
He said many of the girls were first-time players and his priority would be to teach them the basics like the rules, safe technique and spirit of the game.
“The biggest thing you get from rugby league is the camaraderie and friendship,” he said.
“Many of the girls are already good mates, which is great.
“We’ll aim to make it a fun year together and potentially to make the finals in our first year.”
To ensure the under-16s program is successful, the club has brought in former Beaudesert State High School student and Kingfisher Emily Hall to work with the team in an ambassadorial capacity.
Hall, who last pulled on a jersey in 2013, is now a fourth year exercise physiology student who has scored her dream job as a sports science and rehab assistant for the Brisbane Broncos NRLW team after stints helping the under-20s and men’s NRL side
Her role at the Kingfishers will be to promote not only women playing rugby league, but also women’s involvement in the game.
The 22-year-old has advanced knowledge of drills and skills and will attend training sessions and home games, and act as a mentor and support network for players.
Hall said the Broncos and Kingfishers were alike because both were family clubs which possessed a ‘we get it done’ attitude.
She said she agreed to work with the under-16s because she knew the Kingfishers would back the team from the outset and ensure it had every opportunity to thrive.
“Rugby league is not a man’s sport anymore,” she said.
“There are women who can hit just as hard and have the same level of skill with the ball as their male counterparts.”
Hall said she secured the sought-after position at the Broncos by believing in herself and having a crack.
“As a club the Broncos want you to learn,” she said,
“I just needed to back myself.
“That is something I really want to push with these girls – you create your own opportunities.
“You’ll always regret the shots you didn’t take.”
Hall said in the future she hoped to continue working at the Broncos or with other elite athletes as a high performance manager or strength and conditioning coach.
The under-16 girls will contest trial games in March.
Hill said it was hoped a match could be organised against the benchmark club in women’s rugby league, Sunnybank.
“Sunnybank is one of the premier clubs and that should let us know where we stand,” he said.
To sign on or for more information, contact registrar Brendan Fraser on 0412 040 165.