Touchline View: Excel programme excels again!

Published: 11 June, 2020 - 2:03 pm

Prior to the postponement of the Betfred Women’s Super League, York City Knights Ladies were full steam ahead in preparations for the season, and part of that included the emergence of Elsbeth Innes from the YCK Foundation’s girl Excel programme.

After being introduced to the Knights through the YCK Foundation’s Easter rugby camps, Innes was instantly hooked and jumped at the chance to join the Excel weekly sessions once they were introduced, stating that “It was a very friendly and welcoming environment to learn”. 

Elsbeth made an instant impression in her early Excel sessions, grabbing the attention of York City Knights Ladies first teamer, Alisha Clayton who assists Ladies Head Coach Daryl North in coaching the girls Excel programme. Clayton was impressed by how Innes “was always willing to learn new skills which she always took on board”. Alisha was so impressed by Elsbeth’s progress she took it upon herself to approach Daryl North to suggest she was brought into train with the first team once she turned 16.

Daryl North echoed the praise of Elsbeth stating how “her attitude and effort stood out from the group of girls” and that she “just smiled” when he suggested her joining the training sessions for the first team upon the passing of her 16th birthday.

The impact of Coronavirus has caused disruption to Elsbeth’s full introduction to the Ladies first team squad. Elsbeth was keen to maintain her progress and has joined the squad in their Zoom training sessions and says that she is “already really enjoying it [training] and feel like I will fit in well”.

When asked about making her debut in the black and amber, Elsbeth said that she is “most excited about being part of the team and playing at the highest level of rugby I’ve ever played”. Both Daryl North and Alisha Clayton are looking forward to seeing Elsbeth embed into the squad with North saying, “I personally feel she will be a great addition to the squad as I can see her having a great rugby career”. Future team-mate Clayton echoed this stating “I know she will progress even more and will definitely be one to watch”

The emergence of Elsbeth is another stamp of approval upon the YCK Foundation’s Excel programme with Elsbeth’s promotion to the first team marks the fourth player in the last 12 months to progress from Excel to first team following Myles Harrison and AJ Towse from the boys Excel and now regular Ladies player Rebecca Waterworth from the girls Excel programmes.

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