Barrow Raiders Ladies head coach Amanda Wikinson says her first year in charge has exceeded expectations.
Wilkinson recently passed the 12-month milestone, having taken the squad to the Betfred Women’s Super League Group 2 play-off semi-finals in her opening season at the helm.
The Raiders Ladies, making their Super League debut in 2022, won nine of their 12 league fixtures, including a memorable triumph over Featherstone Rovers as part of the Betfred Championship’s annual Summer Bash event.
Assessing her first year in charge, Wilkinson said: “We completely went above my expectations. It was an exciting challenge for me, having coached for 22 years at big clubs like Leeds and Wigan, but I couldn’t have been more proud of coming here and representing Barrow and my first ever Cumbrian team.
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“I didn’t really expect us to do as well as we did. The girls worked so hard and it’s a credit to them. I knew what we needed to do to make them better players, but without their commitment, we wouldn’t have achieved what we did.
“For me, it was an absolutely brilliant first season. There’s been no negatives that I’ve taken away from last season.
“Of course, we would’ve loved to get to the play-off final. I think it was a fair result that we finished in a place that was right for us, and now it’s my job to make sure that we can get there next year.”
The Raiders Ladies squad have already returned to pre-season training as they look to ramp up preparations ahead of the 2023 campaign.
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Wilkinson is excited to see how her players apply themselves over the coming weeks.
“We’ve come back early because I knew that we needed to do things a bit differently this season,” she said.
“The girls are in on Tuesday working on their strength and fitness, and on Thursday’s we’re working on the on-field skills like wrestling and contact work.”
“Last season has set the girls in good stead for next year.
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“They enjoyed the intensity in training and the competitiveness of the games, so the focus is going to be on achieving that once again.
“The girls are ready to go to the next level. As long as they’re honest, work hard and give me the best that they can, the results will look after themselves.”
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