Huddersfield YMCA women’s head coach Ben Hill is looking forward to seeing his team take the field again later on this year.
Hill, 36, is a young coach who is still learning his trade and only took over the team at the start of the 2020 season. However as soon as his coaching career started to take off it was soon halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The team play in the Inner Warrior league and actually won the division in 2019. However during the off season a change in coaching staff and approach meant Hill was brought in to take charge for 2020.
On his start at the club, Hill said: “It’s been a strange and testing time for us. We were getting a lot of interest from people coming to play for us, however the lockdowns have really taken their toll on people.
“The players are having to do online fitness sessions and having to do things on their own which has been tough. I think people are just itching to play rugby, so we can’t wait to get back properly.
“Whilst it’s not been easy the girls have tried to keep their spirits up. We’ve had to put this last season behind us and all we can do now is look forward to next season.”
Hill revealed that the team may look to have an earlier start to pre-season but will not take part in any games until after May.
He said: “The season for 2020 didn’t go ahead but there is the possibility of competing in the Ready for Rugby game which is touch and pass that the RFU set up in the midst of this pandemic.
“However, given the time frame and how things have gone with lockdowns and the fact no one will be playing friendlies, we think it’s best to wait until the league season starts again later this year.
“We have to think about player safety. A lot of these players haven’t played contact sport for over 12 months. It’s not worth risking players’ safety to just play a few games now.
“We’ll start to have a few training sessions towards the end of April to get the girls back into the swing of things again. We don’t normally start pre-season until August but we might look to start it a bit earlier to get those extra weeks in.
“We do get a lot of players coming from the university so we have to time it with them returning to their studies.”
The one thing Hill is confident about is the talent in his squad and he believes that the standard will become higher as time goes on.
He said: “As a team we have a strong core group of players who have been at the club for a long time. I only really stepped into the head coach position recently. I am now just trying to pass on my experience from playing rugby and we’ll see where it takes the team.
“We have a lot of talented players and they are very keen to build a good team ethos and that’s fantastic to see.”
Hill is eager to see more women take up the sport and added: “We are looking for any girls to get involved with our club no matter what level they play at.
“We want to build a good club ethos around the whole YM structure. We want to build a team and improve the standard of rugby in the side and see where we can go next season.”