LINDSAY ANFIELD hopes that more Betfred Women’s Super League clubs follow suit after York Valkyrie announced it would pay its players from 2023.

York RLFC chairman Clint Goodchild revealed that Valkyrie would move to a paid structure from next season, following in the footsteps of reigning BWSL champions Leeds Rhinos, who took the same decision in October.

The move further showcases the transformation undertaken by York’s women’s side during the last three years.

Having finished second-from-bottom of the BWSL in 2019, York appointed Anfield as director of rugby in 2020 and have since launched a major recruitment drive.

A maiden BWSL League Leaders’ Shield and Women’s Nines title were secured last year while the club reached the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup in 2021.

On the news of payment for Valkyrie players from next season, Anfield enthused: “I’m proud to be at a club that’s really valuing the contribution of women to rugby league.

“Clint is a progressive and forward-thinking chairman and I’d hope that every club would be giving the women’s game as much appreciation, credit and financial reward.

“Credit should go to York for having the foresight that the women’s game was on the up and they wanted to be a big player in it.

“It’s a great move by the club and by a new chairman who has come in from overseas and has bought into the product of the Women’s Super League.”

The Valkyrie’s 2023 campaign kicks off in the Women’s Challenge Cup from Sunday, April 23.

Anfield’s side will learn their group stage opponents in the Challenge Cup on Thursday.

The draws for both the Women’s Challenge Cup group-stage and Men’s Challenge Cup first and second rounds will take place at Wembley Stadium, the venue of both the Women’s and Men’s Cup finals.