Our Women’s team got great exposure with a full feature on the team appearing in the Leinster v Dragons matchday programme on the 25th November.
Full text of the article is reproduced below :
Wanderers F.C is the second oldest rugby club in Ireland and will be celebrating their
150th Anniversary in 2019. Despite the long history of this club, the first women’s team
was not created until late 2014 with a brand new group of women. Over the 2014/15
season, the team put all their efforts into developing a squad which lead them to enter the
Paul Cusack Cup at the end of the season. They won the Paul Cusack Plate being the first
ever women’s trophy for the club!
In the following 2015/16 season, Wanderers were ready to enter the league. In their first
ever league season they topped the table of Division 4 but unfortunately lost the final.
They came back stronger last season 2016/17 as they won the Division 4 Leinster League
in March 2017, and were promoted to Division 3.
Going from strength to strength and by winning trophies, the ladies earned the respect of
the club which empowered the team. They have the full support of the club, which has had
an important impact on the development of the team and the future of the women’s section
at Wanderers. The team is very proud to say that as of this year, two women who started
their rugby playing life in Wanderers are now on the Executive Committee of the club
allowing them to be part of the discussions about developing the club and the team.
Dave Neville and Mick Finlay are the two very dedicated team coaches who are leading
the team to their best week by week.
The team is diverse and multi-national with ten countries represented. Players from twenty
to thirty-five years old have also very different occupations. From student to women
working in business and technology roles.
Recruitment, however, is still a big challenge for the team. Team captain Anne Grumelard
reckons that “Going from Division 4 to Division 3 has made even more difficult with the fact
that, due to the multinational and diverse nature of the team, some of last season’s
players left Dublin or Ireland and the club had to recruit new players and build a strong
squad again. It has been a rocky start of the season this year but we’re now going from
strength to strength.”
Despite the challenge, Anne affirms “Having been a player of the women’s team of
Wanderers since the very beginning, I have witnessed the team grow stronger and
stronger and I am so proud of what we have achieved in such a short existence: In three
years, we have won the Paul Cusack Plate in 2015, won the Division 4 Leinster League in
2016 and moved up a division after only two years.”
Anne Grumeland, originally from France, started playing rugby just when the Wanderers
women team was created in October 2014. “A friend saw a poster for it in Google’s gym
and said I should try it since I loved rugby. I’m 35. I only started when I was 32. The
biggest regret of my life is to have started so late! But I still feel good and fit and able to
play for another few years.”
When asked what has been her favourite moment playing for Wanderers, Anne has said “it
was winning the Division 4 Leinster League last March 2017 and lifting the Trophy! It was a
good reward after two seasons of hard work from the players, coaches, and management.
We made history as we are the first ever women’s team to have won a Leinster League
Wanderers.” After a great season last year, the players went on their first-ever tour in
Portugal last June, the second favourite moment for the captain.
Even when the season was over, the team worked on a very strong campaign to get new
players. Every Wednesday they release a #WanderersWednesday segment on their Social
Media channels featuring a member of the team.
“We promote our team a lot via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ve made a video that
we also promote online regularly. In summer, before or during pre-season, we regularly
organise Open Days. Last May, we hosted a Women’s Lunch in the club as part of the
2017 WRWC and the Trophy Tour” -Anne says.
Wanderers are always looking for new recruits.Training takes place on Tuesday and
Thursday at 7 pm on the grounds of Merrion Road.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/wandererswomen