Greater Northern Tigers coach Mick Schmiedel describes it as “unfinished business”.
The former Group 4 premiership-winning player and mentor, also a Northern Division (now Greater Northern) hooker, is overseeing the women’s tackle side.
And his, and the Tigresses’, unfinished business relates to last year’s Country Championship campaign.
He was at the helm in 2020 when they won both games and were heading towards the competition’s semi-finals.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic then struck and the championship season was abandoned.
“We had the best attack and best defence, too,” Schmiedel recalled of the top four teams.
He’s hopeful his “new” squad can repeat that start.
The big 24-player Tigress squad had it first training run at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School last Sunday morning.
“We had 25 but Caitlin Albury has pulled out,” Schmiedel added.
“We’re able to play 18 but we’ve stuck with the 24.”
That squad will stay together throughout with an 18 (17 plus travelling reserve) named to play each round.
Having an extended outfit also caters for any injuries, which makes training sessions even more concerted for all 24 players.
The Group 19 and Group 4 girls will train on Wednesday in Tamworth while the Group 21 reps will train at Singleton on Friday evening.
“We’ve got 13 from last year,” Schmiedel said of some of 2020’s successful contingent.
“Newcastle, I believe, has taken their squad through from last year.
“We’ve also picked up a couple of handy players, too, in Anastasia Martin and Hannah Crisp.
“If we didn’t have our recent trials, we wouldn’t have picked those girls up.”
The Tigress women head to Wyong’s Morrie Breen Oval on Saturday 14 February to play their trial against Newcastle.
The Brad McManus-coached men are also playing Newcastle in a trial at the same venue on a big day for the Greater Northern Tigers.
The under-16 and under-18 sides contest second round Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup showdowns at Wyong as well.
The Tiger men train at Jack Woolaston Oval, North Tamworth, on Wednesday night.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS (squad): Jess Baker, Amy Barraclough, Gaynor Blackadder, Shai Blackadder, Sarah Byrne, Kate Brown, Chloe Bayley, Lenikki Craigie, Hannah Crisp, Toni-Lee Clough, Tanika Darcy, Brooke Davis, Brooke Doyle, Nautica Eather, Anastasia Martin, Jess Morgan, Brooke O’Halloran, Shae Pemberton, Hannah Rando, Amber Russell, Abby Schmiedel, Sarah Stewart, Amelia Tunmena, Annie Wenner. Development squad members: Jayne-Lee Averillo, Taryneice Berry, Lucy Plowman. Coach Mick Schmiedel