We sat down with Women’s Chair Georgia Teague to ask about the future of the Women’s Programme ahead of the Sapphire Series.
PD: With the team’s successful rookie season behind you, what are the goals and aims for the next season?
GT: Our first season was excellent and I’m so proud of everything we achieved, including ranking 8th nationally in Women’s flag football, and finishing runners up into division 2 south for contact. This upcoming year we would like to remain competitive and better ourselves in both Opal and Sapphire. Whist we place an emphasis on developing and enjoying the sport, winning and being competitive remains a key aspect of our ethos.
More specific aims are to avenge our final defeat against the Wembley Stallions. We have a growing friendly rivalry, and they are a team that we greatly respect and look forward to competing against.
PD: While most teams are currently in off-season, the Dreadnoughts appear to still be training. What have you been doing during the off-season and what do you hope to achieve in pre-season?
GT: Throughout the summer, we have been training both flag and contact football. This has allowed us to prepare individuals for the Diamond series and offer them an insight into 11 a side football. Several of our players attended as well as our Offensive Coordinator, Owen Beynon, and we are very proud of how they represented us as a club.
We have also been able to continue to improve as a team to give us the best chance to be successful during the Opal series. We have welcomed two new players over the summer, Ellen Goodwin and Lou Robbins. Ellen is brand new to the sport; She has made great progress over the summer and has the potential to become a key player in Opal. We were delighted to have Lou join us from the Oxford Saints. She has previously played for the University of Portsmouth and we were very excited for her to return to play football in the Portsmouth area. With her experience and ability, she should prove to be a key addition to the squad.
PD: With the sport ever expanding, what opportunities are there for people looking to join a sport they have never played before?
GT: Our training sessions are open to any potential player over the age of 16 for flag football and 18 for contact. No previous experience or sporting history is required, and kit is provided by the club. Your first three sessions are completely free and there is no initial commitment, so feel free to come and trial this exciting sport.
In the next month, we will be hosting many taster sessions to allow for our recruitment drive to continue, we would love to welcome some new players to the team.
If playing isn’t for you, we are always looking for volunteers to help with other aspects, including our coaching staff and media team. For any enquires please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
PD: The Portsmouth Dreadnoughts Women’s Team joined forces with the University of Portsmouth Women’s American Football Society to promote at Fresher’s Fayre. What more can we expect to see from this partnership?
GT: We are working alongside the University of Portsmouth’s Student Union to provide students with more opportunities to develop as players and to grow the sport in Portsmouth. This new and exciting partnership is just one way we at the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts can reach out to the community and the Team are fortunate to have many University of Portsmouth Alumni, both in their coaching staff and player squad.
In addition, Portsmouth is a diverse city that sees those across the globe come to inhabit and study. We were fortunate enough last year to recruit wide receiver Andrea Rustand from Norway and Fresher’s Fayre again provided the chance to expose more international students to the sport.
PD: Where do you want to see this team in 5 years?
GT: We hope to soon be able to move up to 7 a side contact football, and we are likely to get the opportunity to trial this in the coming months. This move should allow us to further develop our players.
Furthermore, we aim to become one of the premier women’s football programs in the country and would love to develop our players to an international standard. We have a competitive and development focused environment, which should result in a continuation of growth for both the team and the sport.