Swords’ new horizon

by Karl Graham
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SWORDS Rugby Club are launching their first women’s team as part of their plans to regenerate the club by providing equal opportunities to both men and women from the area.
“It is something that has been on our minds for the last couple of seasons but we were trying to restructure the men’s team after we lost a lot of players to immigration and injury,” PRO Liam Linnane told GazetteSport.
“We were advertising the men’s team on Facebook when a woman from Swords contacted us to say it was a shame that we didn’t have a women’s team, so we took that feedback onboard.
“We went out to see how much interest we could build and, at the minute, I think we are up to 40 confirmed players for pre-season so it has taken wind.”
There have been attempts from other clubs to set themselves up in the area but, for one reason or another, they have struggled to keep going. However, Swords’ attempt so far has garnered a lot of interest.
“Some of the teams have struggled in the past with their teams falling by the wayside so we wanted to build something in Fingal. We knew, in such a big area, we would be able to get the interest up. Instead of having just a men’s team, we decided we wanted to let everyone in Swords be able to play.
“We have had people from the Irish women’s team say they would be interested in coming down and helping out, and even possibly joining the team depending on the level we get to come down. It is everything from grassroots to international level at the minute.”
The team will compete in the Leinster League this year but they are taking things slowly while finding out what level the team will be capable of competing at.
“We are talking with the IRFU and the Leinster branch now about getting the team into a competition. We want to wait until we have a number of players and gauge the level before we put it into any league.
“We are looking to build up the player base in Swords and with it being only our first season, use it as a feeding period and hopefully next season be in a far stronger position to change leagues if we feel we need to,” Linnane concluded.
The men’s team finished fourth in Leinster division three in their first season back with a proper squad after going from having full two teams to losing 13 players from their first team due to emigration and injury.
Pre-season training for the women starts on July 19 at 7.30pm in the ALSAA Sports Centre in Swords. The team are still looking for players of all skill levels who are interested in taking part in a fun and social setting.
For the men, pre-season training gets underway on July 4 at 7.30pm.

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