Ireland women's coach ready for fresh challenge

Fri, Mar 11, 2011 8:43 AM

It is just over a month before the Women's Quadrangular Series in Sri Lanka gets underway and Ireland senior women's coach, Stephen Moreton is confident of his new look squad going into the series.

The series is taking place between 23-30 April, 2011 and includes hosts Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Pakistan. All teams will be including a practice programme ahead of the series, which for Ireland and Netherlands. This practice programme has replaced the ICC European Women's Academy which has been previously held in La Manga, the ICC Pepsi Development Programme's funding has now been contributed to this practice programme.

For Ireland and Netherlands this is fantastic preparation ahead of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier which is being held in Bangladesh in November.

Ireland are very keen to use this opportunity in preparation for November and to test themselves in sub-continent conditions. There will be however an absence of a number of established players for many different reasons explains the Irish senior coach.

"There is a significant shift in personnel from the last squad to this. There are a number of players unavailable for the tour due to work and family commitments. As we all know, the Irish women's setup is on a purely amateur playing structure, which with the current economic climate has put significant pressure on a number of players to choose work over taking potentially unpaid leave," said Moreton.

The Irish coach is trying to adapt to the delicate balance that many female cricketers have who face many challenges including work, families and the competition of other sports they compete in especially Hockey, says Moreton.

"A couple of players perform at an extremely high level in hockey, Nikki Symmons plays for Ireland and Isobel Joyce, has qualified as captain of her Railway side for the European Championships which directly collide with this tour of Sri Lanka which is not a qualification or ranking event; makes both these players unavailable for the Quadrangular Series in Sri Lanka," states the Irish senior coach.

Moreton is delighted that his squad will have a chance to sample the sub continent conditions and culture before the squad travels to Ireland in November and also thinks it is a great opportunity for upcoming players to sample a tour away.

"This tour will provide the squad with a tremendous opportunity to familiarise themselves with the conditions they will face in Bangladesh in November, and also open the door for a number that have not had an opportunity at the top level," says Moreton.

As well as the oppourtunity of touring with the national squad, it may also prove an opening to confirm a seat on the plane to Bangladesh if individuals perform well.

"The new additions to the squad now have the opportunity to stand up, perform and make the Irish jersey their own," concluded Moreton.

Cricket Ireland has named the following squad for the Women's Quadrangular Series in Sri Lanka in April:

Ciara Metcalfe (captain, Pembroke), Clare Shillington (vice-captain, Malahide), Laura Cullen (Clontarf), Laura Delany (Leinster), Emma Flanagan (Pembroke), Kim Garth (Pembroke), Aisling Gill (Malahide), Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke), Amy Kenealy (Leinster), Louise McCarthy (Pembroke), Eimear Richardson (Leinster), Rebecca Rolfe (Leinster), Mary Waldron (Pembroke)

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