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Bool excited to build on promising opening weekend

Women | 8th February 2022

Darren Bool is excited to build on a promising opening weekend as the WRU’s Regional Women’s under-18 tournament heads to Merthyr on Sunday.

The Cardiff under-18 head coach, who has also been in charge of the senior side in the past, saw his side claim two victories and a draw in the first round robin tournament at Ystrad Mynach on Sunday.

The teams will go head-to-head once again at The Wern this week before the series concludes at Cardiff Arms Park, where the winners will be crowned, on Sunday, February 20.

Reflecting on the opening weekend of action, Bool said: “The girls deserve full credit for their performances on Sunday. In such a short amount of time, it’s been great to see how much they’ve gelled as a group.

“What we’re really proud of is that the make up of our squad represents girls from across the club’s regional area - from Brecon down to Barry Island and everywhere in between. The way they came together as a group, after only a few weeks of training, to represent the club is a testament to them as individuals and as an unit.

“We have a good, steady group who are growing in confidence by the week. Training on Monday was great, as we were able to review the weekend’s action and identify what went well and what needs working on ahead of this Sunday.

“We showed really good variety in our plays, on both sides of the ball, but the girls are focused and determined to get better every week.

“There is international selection on the line at the end of this block, and I’m sure that will be a motivation. It would be fantastic to see them getting some recognition for their attitude and performances. We’ve seen how these girls look to put their hands up individually by performing and succeeding as a team.

“The format means everyone will get playing time on the pitch, and we’re able to rotate the squad and have a good look at everyone over the three weeks.

“We’ve already had a fantastic opener in Ystrad Mynach. We’ve got a round robin tournament where each team can beat the next, so it makes it competitive, entertaining and a compelling watch and we’re excited for more of the same at Merthyr this weekend.”

With each team going head-to-head in 20 minute games, the accumulated winners over the three weekends will lift the trophy at Cardiff Arms Park on February 20.

Bool hopes the Blue and Blacks will be victorious at their iconic home later this month: “It was a cracking start and a really enjoyable tournament for all, but now we’re heading to Merthyr and Cardiff, which technically means back-to-back home tournaments for us as a team. That in itself will bring an element of pride in terms of what we want to do over the next fortnight.

“I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone in saying that lifting the trophy at the club’s home is something we’re determined to do. Hopefully our performances means we can get as many girls as possible an opportunity to put on the red jersey and represent their country in a few weeks times.

“Hopefully there will be a good supporting crowd at both grounds to support the next generation of Cardiff and Wales stars.

“A lot of our group are heading into their first year in this age group, and will have taken a lot of learnings from last week’s closely contested matches. The challenge now will be to take those performances up a notch, because each team will step up at Merthyr.”