Moreton confident about team at Quadrangular

Sun, Apr 17, 2011 11:40 AM

Ireland women's National coach Stephen Moreton is looking to the Women's Quadrangular Series in Sri Lanka to begin the preparation for the rise of Irish women's cricket in 2011.

Preparation for the tour and over the past few months has been quite difficult for Moreton and the Irish team due to many different reasons. "Since the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge - the squad has seen some turnover of players, due to a number of different factors, for example employment or family commitments - but the squad has been working very hard once or twice a week doing cricket skills sessions, on top of a focused two months of twice-weekly 6am fitness sessions, before school and work, " explains Moreton.

Moreton is very excited about visiting Sri Lanka after a great recommendation by Kumar Sangakkara.

"I can't wait to see Sri Lanka; it will be my first time there. I met Kumar Sangakkara at Warwickshire and he spoke very highly about his country so I am excited about that.

"On the playing side, we have all been working tirelessly, players, administration staff and coaches so I hope that hard work pays off. I wouldn't expect our side to be consistent when you take in how many new caps we have - but do we have talent, desire and will we fight for everything, " says Moreton.

Similarly to Netherlands, the Ireland team is focusing on the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in November and with a very different squad is looking to prepare themselves for the year ahead.

"It's a massive benefit to our preparations, as we will be facing similar conditions in November, when it really counts. These sides are tough, experienced teams particularly in their own conditions - but I would hope that we have some weapons that they are fearful of, and these players will only improve over the next seven months before the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier," says Moreton.

The Irish coach is looking forward to see the performances of the other teams as well, "I will be interested to see the sub-continental sides on their own patch, whether that changes them and adds some confidence to their game. From our perspective, I will be looking to see which of our players has the character and the tools to perform at the top level. We have been working hard at all aspects of our game, and I believe the training programme is an ideal opportunity to refine all of those parts," states Moreton.

In the past couple of month's Irish cricket has been put on the global map by the performance of the men's team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Moreton is so dedicated to promoting the great work that has been developing on the women's side.

"Irish women's cricket is a sleeping beast in this country. The men's success was fantastic, particularly the superb victory over England, and has added to the growth of the game across all environments. We wouldn't be where we are without the sponsorship of RSA and the support of the Irish Sports Council, Sport NI and ICC Europe.

"The women's game is developing aggressively in the North of the country, where we don't have much representation on Irish squads unfortunately, and if we raise the profile of the game we will be able to direct Ireland's top athletes towards the wonderful game of cricket over or at least alongside some of the other games like camogie, hockey and soccer," concludes Moreton.

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