22nd June 2018, 14:33 | champion_schools

St Peters proud to represent Manchester

St Peters proud to represent Manchester

ST PETER'S, MANCHESTER - YEAR 9 GIRLS

  • v St John Fisher, Dewsbury
  • Victoria Park, Warrington
  • Friday, July 6
  • 3.40pm kick off

Coach: Ceris Dixon

Squad: Faye Richardson, Oyinkan Dare, Sophia Paulo, Christina Bwana, Sarah Kakudji, Naomi Kakudji, Britney Njiae, Glorian Ngienda, Eunice Luanga, Jessica Boakye, Gift Obornwonyi, Lexcyn Van Der Steen, Johnaya Flechman, Hermon Khebre, Wendy Mika.

It’s probably fair to say that the Manchester isn't steeped in Rugby League but thankfully Ceris Dixon is, as is her whole family.

"My Dad and my brother, who plays professional Rugby League, as does my husband, are really big Rugby League fans so we've kind of instilled it in the kids."

The school didn't play Rugby League until Ceris came eight years ago - now it’s the biggest girls' sport at the school.

She entered four girls' teams this year and they were all in the National Festival which, given the girls don't play outside of school, is remarkable.

The Year 9 Girls have led the way; this will be their third consecutive National Schools final. And in each of those finals their opponents have been St John Fisher, who they face in the final on July 6.

They won the Year 7 title in 2016 but last year lost to them 30-18 so there will be no shortage of motivation going into the game.

"We played really well last year and it could have been anyone's game. We won the year before - it wouldn't be revenge if we won, just a reward which the kids deserve for working so hard this year," said Ceris.

"Rugby League isn't really big in Manchester so the girls have only really played it at our school. They're still learning the game but they're doing really well.

"Every year they've improved and they really listen, take on what you say and are eager to learn. They've matured a lot and their dedication has got them to where they are at the moment.

"They are a really nice group of girls and really talented. There's a great team camaraderie about them, they work really hard for one another.

"There are a few outstanding athletes, like full back Faye Richardson and wing Oyinkan Dare, they are fast and have scored some impressive tries.

"As a coach, I'd always talk about defence, but I have to say that their attack is their best thing because they're so naturally talented.

"They did really well in the National festivals. They were really impressive and went through it pretty comfortably but they tried to challenge themselves in the matches and never took any of them for granted. They're really quite professional for such a young team."

Ceris acknowledges the help from Mr Dixon, who comes to all the games.

"He was assistant head and is in phased retirement - yet he comes in on his days off because he loves it," says Ceris.

And there has been tremendous support from the school.

"We have to travel quite far for our matches, so if it wasn't for the support of our head teacher Stephen Gabriel it wouldn’t happen.

"The school absolutely love it and every year we've had a team in the final, they buy the kids t-shirts to wear, they're really proud."

  • Road to the Final
  • St Peter’s 12-10 Castleford Academy
  • St Peter’s 12-0 Dane Court
  • St Peter’s 22-0 Workington Academy
  • Semi Final
  • St Peter’s 18-6 Bishophalt