2014 Season Preview – UTS Lady Gators

With the 2014 Gridiron NSW Women’s season set to kickoff in a short 2 weeks, the UTS Lady Gators have been training hard in hopes of improving on their 3rd place finish last season. Preseason started in early June with plenty of new players coming down to try out the latest women’s sport. With only a handful of players returning from 2013, it has been a busy preseason with the whole team starting back at the basics and building on that. New players have come from a lot of different sports including soccer, basketball, rugby league and union as well as players who have watched the game on TV, have relatives who play in the men’s team or heard about it through friends.

Joana Malolo

Joana Malolo
2013 UTS Lady Gators “Player’s Player”

Head Coach, Tiffany Bosco is excited to see how the team goes this season. “With the loss of some big players from last year, we will be looking to build on our rookies coming through. It will be a season of learning as we go and improving every week. We have a bunch of new rookies who will be a huge asset to the team and the players returning from last year will be able to help push them along.” Missing out on the Opal Bowl (championship game) last year because of a game being rained-out and unable to be rescheduled, left the Lady Gators with a bitter taste in their mouth and they are looking to even the score this year and leave no doubt that they should be at the top.

Returning player, Joana Malolo, voted 2013 UTS Women’s player’s player, had this to say about this year’s team, “The 2014 UTS female gridiron team have heart, determination, resilience and the ability to laugh about our mistakes and to strive for perfection.”

Taking a look at each positional group:

Quarterbacks: With one returning QB from last year and a rookie stepping up, this season will see both QBs sharing the load. Both QBs offer great skills in different areas and will be utilized for their strengths.

Running Backs: A lot of rookies means we will have quite a bit of depth in the RB position.

Receivers: This is the position where a lot of the players are returning from last season. Their experience will help when tough catches need to be made.

Offensive and Defensive Line: Another position with players returning from last year as well as some impressive rookies. Strong offensive line means there will be big gaps for the RBs and good protection for the QBs.

Linebackers: Rookies with speed. Having lost our linebackers from 2013, it will be a big learning curve for the rookies who will have to step up.

Defensive Backs: A good mix of returning players and rookies in the defensive backfield this season. They will need to learn from each other the get the job done.

Levini Tuipulotu 2013

Levini Tuipulotu makes a tough tackle in 2013

Levini Tuipulotu, a player returning from last year, excited for the 2014 season, had this to say, “It’s been a very long preseason. Finally, the season is almost here. I can’t wait til the season kicks off and I get to play alongside our rookies.” Levini was one of 8 UTS players who represented NSW in the inaugural NSW Coyotes team that played in the National Women’s Gridiron Tournament held earlier this year and competed against QLD and ACT.

One of the rookies, Rebecca Baldin, has been watching gridiron in NSW for years and finally decided to try it out for herself. “I’m super excited for the season to start. The team has been working really hard in the preseason and we’re ready to play football!” She also had this to say regarding being a first year player, “The team and coaches have been really welcoming and it’s been really fun learning a new sport.” Baldin will be a huge contributor on both sides of the ball, playing both quarterback and linebacker.

The Lady Gators begin their campaign against the Bondi Lady Raiders on Friday 10th October, 2014 at 7:00pm at the hockey fields on Brittania Street, Pennant Hills.

Come on down and support your UTS Lady Gators in their run to the 2014 Opal Bowl.

For more information on UTS Women’s Gridiron, go to the Women’s page or email info@utsgridiron.com

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