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18 November 2020

We are delighted to formally announce the appointment of former England international Martina Greenwood as the first ever Head Coach of the Swinton Lionesses!

Martina will be joining us from Halifax Women’s RLFC where she enjoyed immediate and substantial success.

We are thrilled that Martina has decided to join our organisation, and we feel sure that the Lionesses will soon emerge as a force in the sport under her leadership.

This important appointment follows the announcement back in March on International Women’s Day, when our intention to launch a Swinton Lionesses team was first revealed.

The Covid crisis understandably then impacted on our intended timetable for the Lionesses, but we now plan to get our training programme back on track as from January 2021.

“I am now thrilled to be taking on this brand new role at Swinton Lions with the Lionesses.”

Upon her appointment Martina revealed, “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. Things went well and two years later I was selected for the Yorkshire squad and I went on to represent the county for many seasons.

“I also went on to represent England Teachers as well as England “A”, and I was a member of the full England squad before injuries caught up with me.

“During my rugby league playing journey I’ve also played in many Challenge Cup finals and League Championship finals. Some of these were won and some were lost, but always many a friend was made whilst I was playing.

“Off the pitch I have taken on numerous positions including club secretary, fixture secretary, and supporting many committees in a variety of roles! I have also been actively involved in coaching in both the male and female games, and had many fabulous coaching and managing experiences.

“For instance 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.

“Having enjoyed coaching in junior set ups in both the male and female game, I then took the opportunity to become the first ever female Head Coach at Halifax RFLC Women’s Team.

“I was then extremely proud when our Halifax team achieved promotion in its first season.

“However, I am now 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.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome Martina into the Swinton Lions Family.”

Damian Ridpath, the Swinton Lions Director of Development, 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.

“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.”

The first Swinton Lionesses engagement day will take place on Sunday 17th January 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.

Further information can be obtained via [email protected] or [email protected] or keep an eye on Swinton Lions social media platforms.


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