The Alba Ladies are ready for the season
The Swiss LN-A championship is back this weekend and the Alba Ladies are fully prepared after the pre-season and their annual summer training camp which took place between 28-30 August in Nyon-Morges. The ladies also played their first friendly match after eight months of forced break.
A long winter followed by a global pandemic and confinement put the team and the coaches – like every other amateur sports team - under a huge pressure due to the lack of the regular contact and the community which is the essence of the sport. Resilience is one of the best qualities in rugby and this team made all the effort to climb out of the pit.
After successfully following the FSR return to play protocol throughout the pre-season it was very much time to get together for a training camp which started on Friday evening with a session focusing on breakdowns and continued with theory on defence and attacking strategy and a captain’s run on Saturday morning in Nyon.
The Mermigans, the reigning champions, hosted the friendly match in the afternoon at the UEFA sports complex. The Alba Ladies successfully achieved the main objective which was to get back to the habit of a match day, moving together on the field, test some new combinations both in the line outs and in the back line. The game also gave a chance for the new recruits - Juliette Pera and Orla Bath Enright - and the young Morgane to show their skills and experience in their key positions. The friendly match concluded with a decent result, 22-0 for the home team, which also shows that there are certain areas of the game to work on until the season starts.
While this gave the coach some work to do, the team enjoyed the long awaited third half in a cosy restaurant in downtown Morges which quickly transformed into a massive rugby party to the great delight of the locals and the owner. On Sunday the rainy weather washed off the carefully planned Stand Up Paddling on the lake so the captains, Anne Thiebaud and Niki Zaal organised a laser game to sweat off the traces of the party ...oup's... rugby match.
Anne Thiebaud, team captain summarized the weekend : ‘Un weekend rugbystique à l'image parfaite d'une structure de match: un bon échauffement le vendredi, un match instructif samedi et une troisième mi-temps bien méritée samedi soir. C'est avec hâte que les AlbaLadies reprennent la saison le weekend prochain!’
Maria Gyolcsos, coach is positive about the first game: ‘The team is ready to play this Sunday although we are preparing for a long season and we have 7 games to perform in until mid-November if we want to stay in the first division which is our goal. We must make sure that our support play is spot on and I am confident that we can surprise the multiple national champions Valkyres this Sunday, would not be the first time!’
On 13th September the Alba ladies are facing the Zurich Valkyries from 15:00 at Chavannes. Spectators are welcome with social distancing.