If you needed any more evidence of the strength and direction of the Sydney Roosters’ Pathways system, look no further than the nine graduates from the Tarsha Gale Cup squad who will be involved in the Club’s 2021 NRLW program.
Keilee Joseph and Otesa Pule have been rewarded for their form in the Grand Final qualifying Tarsha Gale side with NRLW contracts, while Tayla Montgomery, Charlize Lloyd-Phillips, Taneka Todhunter, Maddie Binding, Iesha Duckett, Courtney Tamati and Jazmon Toupo-Witchman have been signed on development contracts.
For Tarsha Gale Cup Head Coach and NRLW Assistant Coach Blake Cavallaro, the appointment and development is proof of the continual strengthening of the Sydney Roosters’ Pathways.
“It’s a really big plus in regards to how we’re promoting and establishing our pathways in the Women’s game,” a proud Cavallaro said.
“It’s great because we’re seeing players as young as eighteen being promoted to the top squad. We want to mirror what the men’s side does, and we’re moving in the direction where we’re a Club that is promoting from within and we want to make sure in a few years’ time that all our players are making their way through the grades.
To have nine girls at their age, you wouldn’t see that in the men’s game. For us we’re making way, we want to have the best pathway program in the country.Blake Cavallaro NRLW Assistant Coach
“We’ve talked recently about how we’re the only Club with pathways all the way from the Tarsha Gale Cup, Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership all the way to the NRLW. Now we’re seeing women of great quality getting really good coaching, developing their skills and getting promoted early.
“It’s important for girls when they do come to the Club to see a direct pathway to the NRLW.”
The 2021 NSW Women’s Under 19’s coach believes that the Roosters are one of the leading clubs when it comes to pathways development in both the men’s and women’s competitions respectively, and commended the hard work cultivated by his peers to help grow the Women’s game.
“It’s been four years in the making, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s changed dramatically,” he stated.
“People externally and internally including Craig Walker and John Strange have been instrumental in trying to mirror the men’s competition and show that we can have a strong pathway to the NRLW.
“You can see the game has evolved very quickly, and for us, we need to make sure we’re competing with all the other clubs. We’ve made sure we’ve had quality coaches in the program, quality academies on the Central Coast, Queensland and the Eastern Suburbs.
“So for us, we’re trying to promote the Women’s game not just in our local area but from different areas to try and grow the participation levels.”
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Cavallaro says that he is just excited for his graduating players to reach the next level as they are to get out on the field later this year – and believes that one day they will be as recognised as the likes of James Tedesco, Luke Keary and Angus Crichton.
“They’ve been ecstatic with the news,” he said.
“We had one girl who cried over the phone, and plenty of them couldn’t believe it.
“In saying that, out of the nine girls, there were six who had played in the under 19’s State of Origin match in Queensland this year. So it’s a really big plus to see those girls get the representative honours but also to go on and train with the NRLW squad.
“To have nine girls at their age - you wouldn’t see that in the men’s game. For us we’re making way, we want to have the best pathway program in the country.
“It’s exciting that it’s evolving and adapting, and we want to see these girls be the face of the Club in future years to come.”
Sydney Roosters' 2021 NRLW Squad:
Sydney Roosters' 2021 NRLW Development Contracted Players:
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