Group 11 coach Nick Wilson not making 'any stupid statements' in lead up to first women's match

TALENT: Group 11 coach Nick Wilson described Tarlee Roberts (pictured) as a "natural ball player" and someone who could star for his side. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
TALENT: Group 11 coach Nick Wilson described Tarlee Roberts (pictured) as a "natural ball player" and someone who could star for his side. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The Group 11 women's rugby league side may not be at the same level as some of its rivals at this point in time, but that doesn't mean coach Nick Wilson has a lack of talent at his disposal.

The inaugural Western Women's Rugby League competition is now just two weeks away with CYMS stalwart Wilson guiding Group 11 in its first campaign against representative sides from Group 10, the Woodbridge Cup and Castlereagh League.

While Group 10 coach Jordan Dwyer stated he knows his side is a red-hot favourite for the competition and Woodbridge Cup mentor Michael Dumesny came out firing and said his side will down Group 11, Wilson is staying relaxed.

"I think it's going to be a strong competition," he said.

"The only ones who haven't come out talking are Castlereagh so they're probably going to be the one to be nervous about.

"We're going to have 17 girls who are keen but haven't played a lot of footy so I'm not going to make any stupid statements. We'll just poke along."

The biggest thing for Wilson and Group 11 this season is development.

Wilson's daughter, Demi, and Westside's Nyoka Boney are two of the most experienced players in the side after playing for Western Rams on the weekend but even then they have only played "three or four matches" of contact rugby league.

I've got no doubt we'll start supplying more female talent for Sydney.

Group 11 coach Nick Wilson

But despite that, Wilson expects his side to be firmly in the mix once the talented group starts spending more time on the field together.

"We've got a good group and they all want to learn, they are very pasisonate about footy and they're all a good age for this competition, going forward," Wilson said.

"The Dubbo and Group 11 area has always provided plenty of talent for the NRL and I've got no doubt we'll start supplying more female talent for Sydney.

"It's a genuine pathway for female players now and a lot of them are probably more skillful than the blokes when it comes to ball skills. They're just behind because they haven't been taught that structure as kids."

Wilson went as far as saying he expects “three or four” players from his side this year to be playing in Sydney within the next couple of years.

While Wilson and Boney will be key during the looming competition, Britt and Shayana Naden and Maggie Townsend are also Group 11 players who represented Western on the weekend while Wellington powerhouse Rhianna Sutherland is in after playing at Redfern in the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League.

Throw in the likes of league tag guns Tarlee Roberts and Kaityn Mason and Wilson suddenly has the makings of a dangerous side.

KEY FIGURE: Reigning Group 11 League Tag Player of the Year Kaitlyn Mason is set to figure for the region's rugby league side. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

KEY FIGURE: Reigning Group 11 League Tag Player of the Year Kaitlyn Mason is set to figure for the region's rugby league side. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The Group 11 team is also set to feature three sisters with Forbes’ Maggie Townsend joined in the squad by Amy and April.

Amy Townsend is also the coach of the Group 11 under 18s women’s side.

“We’re all learning on the run, I’ve never coached women before,” Wilson said.

“I’m enjoying it and it’s easy to be motivated when they’re so passionate. It’s good to be part of something which in the next five years is going to go through the roof.”

Wilson stated he currently has a squad of roughly 16 players and is keen to name a final squad of at least 20 prior to his side’s first match against Group 10 on February 24.

Any women still interested in playing rugby league can attend Group 11 training from 10am on Saturday at Apex Oval.