The South Sydney Rabbitohs are excited to announce the signing of Indigenous Women’s All Stars Coach and former Rabbitohs player Dean Widders as the Head Coach of the Rabbitohs Women’s Team for the 2020 and 2021 seasons today.
Widders brings to the Club a strong coaching background, having been coach of the Indigenous Women’s All Stars team since 2012, coaching the Redfern All Blacks’ A-grade men’s team to the past four premierships in the South Sydney junior league, being involved in the Australian Jillaroos programs for a number of years and was the Assistant Coach of the Sydney Roosters’ WNRL team in 2018.
Widders will return to the Rabbitohs in 2020, the Club for which he played 34 NRL games between 2007 and 2008.
Danny Allende, who coached the inaugural Rabbitohs Women’s team in 2018, has stepped aside following the conclusion of the 2019 season after two seasons at the helm including a Grand Final appearance in 2018’s Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.
Widders is excited about coaching the next group of women to represent South Sydney.
“The main reason why I wanted to come back to the Rabbitohs was to instil a belief in the players around the famous Rabbitohs jersey and give them an understanding of how prestigious it is to represent South Sydney,” Widders said.
“The girls need to earn the right to wear the Rabbitohs jersey. It’s held in such high esteem and so many people have put in so much work for it for over 110 years.
“I want to ensure we play and train with the highest of standards, and represent the Club in the best way possible at all times. I want to promote leadership in the women’s game and there is no better vehicle to do that than with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
“We have a lot of young girls coming through the ranks now. Souths Juniors have done a fantastic job in providing opportunities for girls to play Rugby League and we need to set things up so those girls who dream of playing for South Sydney have the best opportunities to do just that.
“They want to represent their area and their community, and we owe it to them to conduct ourselves by the highest of standards; to represent South Sydney as it should be represented.
“It’s a very special thing to be part of this Club and I can’t wait to get stuck in as we prepare for the 2020 season.”
Rabbitohs General Manager of Football, Shane Richardson, is looking forward to the next phase of women’s football at the Club.
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate and thank Danny Allende for all of his efforts over the first two years in our women’s program,” Mr Richardson said.
“He helped lead the pioneering team of 2018 to a Grand Final and coached the team through a year of transition in 2019.
The main reason why I wanted to come back to the Rabbitohs was to instil a belief in the players around the famous Rabbitohs jersey and give them an understanding of how prestigious it is to represent South Sydney.
“He did a fine job and everyone at South Sydney thanks him for what he has done for our Club.
“Dean will do a fantastic job as our women’s team coach as we look towards the next stage of the team’s progression.
“He has played for the Club, been heavily involved with Souths Cares over many years, and brings with him a wealth of experience in coaching at the grassroots and elite levels of the women’s game.
“We are looking forward to having him lead this team of young women over the next two years, at least, and we can’t wait for the 2020 pre-season to come around so we can follow the development of the Rabbitohs women’s players and the team into the new season.”
|Position:||Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership Head Coach (2020-21)|
|Coach Record:||Indigenous Women's All Stars Coach (2012-current), Involved in Australian Jillaroos programs, Sydney Roosters WNRL Assistant Coach (2018), Redfern All Blacks Men's A-grade Coach (2015-current)|