The Women’s Presidents Cup begins on Wednesday at Saddleworth Rangers.
It is three years since the last competition and the renewed rivalry will see England Universities, UK Armed Forces, and GB Teachers clash in a tri-series format.
Each team will be keen to make their mark with GB Teachers appointing new coaches and going through an extensive trial process, England Universities selecting a squad of young talented players that have already made their mark on the Women’s Super League and the armed forces have already pitted their wits against Barrow Ladies as a prelude to the tournament.
Danny Rogers, Women’s UK Armed Forces coach is looking forward to the games, especially following that trial game.
“At Barrow Raiders, we gave a good account of ourselves and it was the first time to get together as a group since Covid.” He said.
“In terms of the competition, it’s going to be a challenge more than anything else. Both the Universities and the teachers have got players that are playing in the women’s Super League or Championship clubs, so it is up to me to get the girls up for the challenge. the girls are ready to give it a good bash this year.
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“There’s probably eight of the army girls who will be available for our game this week, but the other forces are also well represented.
“There are extra challenges open to us, for example getting players to training camps, we also have some serving persons with operations and current taskings dropping in.
“Representing UK Armed Forces is the pinnacle for a lot of these women. Longer-term, I’d like to see the Presidents Cup remain and grow, not fizzle out and I’d like to see other teams join the competition, for example, GB Police that plays in the Men’s competition.”
The UK Armed Forces take on GB Teachers in the opening game at the Jocky Wilson Stadium, OL3 7LD, 7.00pm on 13th April.
Action then moves over to Lock Lane on 11th May, 7.00pm when GB Teachers entertain England Universities and culminates on 1st June at Leigh Miners Rangers when England Universities take on UK Armed Forces.
James Stephenson, England Universities Team Manager is looking forward to seeing a new-look side containing some fresh Women’s Super League talent take the field on the 11th May.
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“We’ve got a 22-player squad and each one of them are currently with Women’s Super League teams with the majority starting players at that level.” He said.
“We relaunched in 2019 and were set to play in 2020, but Covid got in the way and it all got disbanded. Now we are two years past that and we are back together. There are some girls that were in the 2020 squad that have made it back into 2022 and there are a lot of fresh faces as well.
“Moving forward into the competition, I feel this squad is more than capable of putting on some real good performances, and, who knows, we might be walking away with the cup.”