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01 June 2023


The club wishes to announce that we have parted company with Swinton Lionesses’ Head Coach Martina Greenwood with immediate effect.

Martina was of course our Head Coach from the very start of the Lionesses’ journey, which commenced in hugely difficult circumstances against the backdrop of Covid.

Despite significant obstacles, Martina helped assemble a very capable young squad from scratch, who went on to have an outstanding debut season in the 2021 merit leagues at two different age levels. Then in 2022, having finished as runners-up in the Women’s League 1, we achieved promotion to the Championship at the first attempt.

However, all good things must come to an end, and following recent discussion with Martina we have decided to part company by mutual agreement. Assistant Coach Steve Thirkell will take charge for the immediate future, including for the Lionesses’ big game against Hull FC this coming weekend. The club will then look to appoint a new Head Coach as soon as is practical.

The club has nothing but respect and admiration for Martina, and we wish her all the very best for the future, both inside and outside of the sport.

Martina said, “Firstly, with immediate effect, I will be stepping away from the Swinton Lionesses. However, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one at the club. I have been made to feel so welcome and the club has ensured that I was always given the scope to develop the team in the way that we have. 

 “Three years have gone by so quickly and the journey has been an excellent one. I’m not sure many other clubs could have established a team from nothing, during the covid period, and make something special from a few initial zoom sessions. 

 “Then who would have thought we would achieve so much in such a short period of time, including individual representative rugby for some of the girls. 

 “However, the decision has come for me to step aside from the role as Head Coach of the Swinton Lionesses. I want to thank the ladies, coaching staff, background staff, directors, Lions’ staff and the many supporters for everything. I wish every person involved with the Lionesses all the very best for the remainder of the season and for the future.” 

Chairman Stuart Fletcher responded on behalf of the club, I would like to place on record my personal thanks and those of my fellow Directors, many of whom regularly attended Lionesses matches, to Martina for her hard work, dedication, determination and desire in developing the Lionesses over the past three years since inception.

“The journey the Lionesses have been on has been exciting and remarkable and Martina has led by example in developing the Lionesses as a group, and certain individuals through representative rugby, even through the Covid lockdown.

“I have got to know Martina well through personally attending games and training sessions and have seen first hand the passion and determination she had in taking the Lionesses forward and women/girls rugby in general.

“I wish Martina all the very best for the future and the legacy left by her is a solid base for the Lionesses to build on in the future. Martina will always be welcome at our club.”


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