ST GEORGE Illawarra have moved to strengthen their bid for inclusion in the inaugural women’s NRL competition by appointing Daniel Lacey as coach.
Currently in charge of the undefeated Illawarra Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup side, Lacey heads a staff that also includes assistant coach Alicia Kate-Hawke, long-time Jillaroos trainer Pam Goodridge and strength and conditioning coach Danielle Gallagher.
Lacey has also coached the New South Wales and NRL All Stars women's sides.
"I've been involved in female rugby league in the Dragons' catchment areas and throughout New South Wales since 2013 so the chance to play a part in the NRL women's premiership's inaugural season is something I'm looking forward to," Lacey said.
"Since coaching New South Wales and the All Stars, I've seen women's rugby league grow from year to year. It's fantastic that these girls who are right into rugby league are actually reaping the rewards off the back of its continued development."
Goodridge herself has been involved in rugby league in the Dragons' local catchment areas for over 20 years, including time spent as an NRL Development Officer, and is keen to extend her commitment to the game in terms of the women's premiership.
"I always had to pinch myself when I've been involved with the Jillaroos and New South Wales, so to now have this going forward has ignited my passion once again," Goodridge said.
"It's very exciting for those girls who have been long-term Jillaroos and NSW players, as well as our grassroots girls. It's exciting for all female participants at this time who are keen to get on to that big stage.
"Just trying to keep the grassroots involved long enough to want to get to that next level; this premiership will be extremely beneficial for them to see where they can progress."