York City Knights Ladies’ Ashleigh Hyde is confident that the club will return ‘bigger and better’ for the 2020 Betfred Women's Super League season.
The 23-year-old scooped up the club’s official Player of the Year award in 2019, adding to her status as a Yorkshire Origin player and England International.
Now Hyde returns for another season with the club and is hopeful that the Knights will be much tougher opposition in 2020.
Commenting on the upcoming season, she said: “We have set some goals within the team. We want to strive towards bigger and better things than 2019.
“We have some interesting games coming up so we just have to take everything we do in training and go from there.
“It has been a very good pre-season so far and our overall main objective is to be the hardest working side in the whole of Women’s rugby league.
“Personally, I am massively excited for the new season. It has been nerve-wrecking at times, having to wait for that all-important first game to kick it all off but I am sure it will be well worth the wait!”
Rugby League runs in the Hyde family as sister Robyn Hyde is currently playing for the York City Knights Learning Disabilities Rugby League team.
Having just started playing last year, she stated she has enjoyed every moment of it and would encourage it for anyone.
She said: “I really enjoy it, playing for the learning disability side.
“It helps me keep active, very good for exercise as well. I have also made plenty of new friends as well.”
Certainly a family sport and that is one thing that inspires Ashleigh too.
She commented: “Playing rugby league has always been in our family. I was introduced to it whilst growing up and it has always been around me since. I also currently live next door to one of our team mates.
“What I really love about the game is the closeness of the Rugby League family in general.
“How everyone gathers around together as a team. That is my favourite thing about the sport.”
Supporters can view the 2020 Betfred Women’s Super League on the official Our League App, and Hyde is confident that the Women's competition's feature games - such as the Coral Women's Challenge Cup Final on BBC Sport and the Betfred Women's Super League Final on Sky Sports - will continue to showcase the Women's game.
Hyde said: “It would be fantastic for the women’s game to grace television screens again.
“To see the Grand Final and the Cup Final and the players’ names being read out and shown live on television was just crazy to see.
“Hopefully we will see more of it covered from this year onwards on the Our League App, and on BBC Sport & Sky Sports.”
Looking ahead to the future, the Knights Ladies begin their Betfred Women's Super League campaign on the 29th of March with a home match against Huddersfield Giants. Prior to that, Hyde and the club await their fate in the Coral Women's Challenge Cup.
Hyde shared a message with the supporters of the club heading into the new season.
She said: “I would just like to say thank you for supporting the York City Knights Ladies after what was a tough 2019 season.
“We hope to see you down for as many women’s fixtures as possible and the same for both the men’s and disabilities teams as well in order to not only increase the reputation of the sport here but also to help put York on the map in Rugby League.”
If you are interested in getting involved in the York City Knights Ladies team or LDRL team, contact Adam Prentis on A.Prentis@yorkcityknights.com for more information - everybody is welcome! #WeAreYork