Recruitment drive boost for Inverness Craig Dunain
INVERNESS Craig Dunain Ladies warmed up for the new season with a recruitment drive at an open training session.
The Highland mainland’s only competitive female club enticed along more than a dozen new faces, joining established regulars at their Ferry Point base.
Craig Dunain begin the new-look North Region League West campaign away to newcomers Huntly this weekend.
Kayleigh Rose, the club’s women players’ representative, hailed the Tuesday evening session as a huge success in attracting new players.
“On the women’s side there were 12-15 new faces, joining our regulars,” Rose said.
“It was really well-attended for both the men’s and women’s sessions.
“Some had to dip in and out and could only attend for an hour or so, but certainly it was very encouraging.
“It is all part of the general development of the club. We have a full men’s and full women’s team, but we’re massively trying to promote rugby in the Highlands.”
Rose stressed Craig Dunain, having actively broken down barriers locally in the women’s game, had almost doubled in size in recent years.
“We’re a very welcoming, sociable team.
“Our club, over the last five or six years, has grown massively – doubled in size I would say – with a lot of the promotion of Scottish women’s rugby nationally helping us.
“There’s a lot more girls’ rugby in schools as well, so we’re optimistic moving forwards.”
Rose stressed complete novices to the game were more than welcome.
“I was football girl my entire life until about a year and a half ago when I first picked up a rugby ball,” she said.
“Now I absolutely love it.
“We love having brand new players come in and we take them aside and go through the basics with them.”
Having played the likes of Orkney and Shetland home and away last season, the league split differently this year.
The north-west league section will feature Craig Dunain, Huntly and Stornoway, while Shetland, Orkney and Aberdeenshire Quines will compete in the north-east.
The winners of the two leagues then go head-to-head for the title.
“It will be exciting,” Rose admitted.
“We’re really looking forward to the Huntly trip and we’re quietly confident.
“Huntly are doing brilliantly in their own development.
“So we’re looking forward to getting a great game with them.”