Women rally to get Wallaroos back on the league field
AS MALE players recover from their post-season bonding session the women at Wallaroos are preparing to kick down Bundaberg Rugby League's door.
Women's rugby league is one of the fastest-growing parts of the game, and the six players, manager and coach above are just some of those ready to breathe life back into Wallaroos' female ranks.
The Maryborough club did not field a women's team this season after they finished fifth in 2015, but veteran Ivan Collins has already been installed as the side's coach for 2016 after several comments he made (albeit after a few drinks) at Bundaberg's Salter Oval.
"It might've been after a few drinks and I was thinking about what I wanted to do after football,” Collins said.
"I was watching the women's game in Bundaberg and thought maybe I should start coaching. Next thing I knew I had a few of the girls coming and asking if I was interested to coach a Wallaroos' women's side.”
The more Collins considered coaching the more excited the club's returning players got.
"Ivan has been massive, it's really come together because of him,” Cindy Noffke said. "It's exciting to play with him as a coach. He mentioned he was thinking about it while we were still playing for Isis.
"He said he was thinking about it and we all had a talk then pestered him.”
Wallaroos' women started a Facebook group and has attracted more than 100 members, with up to 20 already committed to play.
Wallaroos will hold a club meeting in October but the women expect to start their pre-season in November.
"We want to start then so get back into it and the girls can get to know each other,” Noffke said.
Liberty Coombes encouraged the region's women to give rugby league a go regardless of skill, size and background in the sport.
"Don't be afraid if you haven't played before,” Coombes said.
"We've got coaches that can teach you things you don't know, from the basics to the big stuff so don't be afraid to come down and try out, because it's easy to learn and it's not as scary as you think.
"There will be so much talent and there's so many younger girls coming through who weren't old enough to play open women's and now they are.
"They're girls who have made rep in Queensland ... they're all coming through.”
Players and businesses interested in supporting the side should phone Ivan Collins on 0423 471 304.