Swinton Lions have officially announced the appointment of Martina Greenwood to pioneer their newly formed Lionesses team as head coach.
The former England international joins from Halifax Women’s RLFC, a side that achieved promotion to the Women’s Championship in their first season last year.
The Lionesses’ new coach said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this brand new role at Swinton Lions with the Lionesses. I look forward to the new challenges ahead, and to developing the game of rugby league for women and girls in the Swinton and Manchester area.”
Swinton Lionesses will begin training with their new Head Coach at the helm in January.
Martina Greenwood represented Bradford Thunderbirds, Yorkshire Ladies, England Teachers as well as England ‘A’ in her playing career.
She continued: “I haven’t always played rugby league, and in fact I came to the sport as a result of not being able to play Gaelic football competitively here in the UK.
“I started playing rugby league with the Bradford Thunderbirds at the age of 23, having never touched a rugby ball before.”
Martina also brings a wealth of off-the-field experience for the Lionesses through her coaching in both men and women’s rugby.
She said: “I have also been actively involved in coaching in both the male and female games, and had many fabulous coaching and managing experiences.
Swinton Lions are delighted to announce the appointment of Martina Greenwood as the first ever Head Coach of the Swinton Lionesses!
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) November 18, 2020
“I toured Russia and France with the England Under-21s squad, and was head coach of the newly developed Girls’ Super 4s Yorkshire programme. I was also identified by the RFL as a developing coach for their mentor programme.”
Damian Ridpath, Director of Development at Swinton Lions added: “We are delighted to have recruited Martina as Head Coach for the Lionesses. Once it was apparent that she was available we moved quickly to discuss our ambitions with Martina.
“We discovered that Martina shares a similar vision for the development of the female game, and we were absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome her into the Swinton Lions Family.”
He continued: “Martina’s track record is evident not just within a range of successful coaching posts, but she also has a tremendous insight as to how to develop and design pathways that will improve players of all abilities and ages.
“This wide-ranging knowledge and expertise, combined with Martina’s leadership skills, will ensure our women’s and girl’s structure moving forward will be amongst the best Rugby League has to offer.”
Swinton Lionesses: a welcome addition to women’s rugby in the North-West
📰 | SWINTON ANNOUNCE LIONESSES RUGBY LEAGUE
On International Women’s Day, Swinton Lions are delighted to reveal news of plans to launch a female section under the title, ‘Lionesses RL’.
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) March 8, 2020
Damian Ridpath also revealed in a recent interview with Salford Now about the Lionesses’ ambition, as well as future plans for a girl’s youth set up.
He said: “Swinton Lions as an overall club are developing significantly and rapidly, we’re growing as an organisation. Adding a women’s team to our organisation was a no-brainer.
“We decided as a board that we want to back a women’s team. The women’s team will be treated just the same as the men’s team, they will have good training facilities.
“Our plans are to start with the first team and have an under 19s team, and that will then be followed up by an under 16s and under 14s within the next 12 months.”
The first Swinton Lionesses engagement day will take place on Sunday 17thJanuary at 10am @ Folly Lane ARLFC, Blue Ribbon Field, Fraser Street, Pendlebury M27 4DH (female players with all levels of experience and abilities are welcome to come down and say hello!).
There will be two age groups to begin with (16 to 18 years; along with open age), with further age groups to be announced in due course.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Lionesses new team, click here.