Top women cricketers set to benefit from European Academy
A selection of top young female cricketers from Europe's Associate and Affiliate member countries will take part in a women's cricket academy in La Manga, Spain in April next year.
This will be the second ICC European Women's Academy to be run as part of the ICC European Development Program following on from the great success of the inaugural event held at Fettes College, Edinburgh in August 2006.
The 2008 event is moving to La Manga Club, a world-class leisure resort located in Murcia, South-Eastern Spain on the Costa Calida that has been the home of the ICC European Centre of Excellence and Men's Academy for the past three years.
The academy will take place from 12th-17th April and will see 17 of Europe's most talented female cricketers between the ages of 16-21 working with an elite ICC Europe coaching team. The main focus for the team will be on preparing the participants for involvement in their country's national and club women's programmes next summer.
Richard Cox Warwickshire CCC Academy Director takes the role as Academy Director and will lead the coaching team which also includes Philip Hudson ICC European Development Officer - Performance, Richard Bedbrook ICC Europe Development Officer, Laura Newton England Women's team player and Paul Shaw ECB Regional Training Manager. Paul attended the ICC European Women's Championship this summer as coach to the England Women's Development XI which successfully won all three matches played against Europe's top three Associate sides.
In addition three of the four countries represented at the Academy - Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, will send a national coach to accompany their participants on the academy in both a leadership and coaching role. Each of these three High Performance Program countries has 4-6 girls attending the academy who are already representing or hope to represent their country in the future.
The 4th country in attendance, Guernsey, is represented by 18 year-old Hannah Mechem who this year competed for Somerset CCC U19s and plays regular men's league cricket in Guernsey.
This year, the ICC European Women's Academy is gaining additional support from the ECB. The current England women's team head coach Mark Dobson and his assistant Vince Wells are hoping to attend the academy to offer up their coaching expertise and experience of International women's cricket to the players and their coaches.
Commenting on the Academy, ICC European Development Manager Richard Holdsworth said "It will give the best young players in our region an opportunity to improve their skills to better compete on the world stage in global events."
"We are delighted that the ECB are supporting this event and allowing the players and country coaches to benefit greatly from this expertise. It will give us an excellent opportunity for much one to one coaching, so that players can get expert tuition on the specific areas that they wish to concentrate on."
He added "Developing Women's Cricket and extending its reach throughout Europe is one of the five main objectives of the ICC European Development Program. We hope that those players exposed to the Academy experience will take what they learn back to their clubs and countries and make them better equipped to help grow the game."
Hannah Mechem Guernsey
Emma Flannagan Ireland
Amy Kenealy Ireland
Joanne McKinley Ireland
Eimear Richardson Ireland
Melissa Scot Hayward Ireland
Jill Whelan Ireland
Marloes Braat Netherlands
Lotte Egging Netherlands
Christine Erkelens Netherlands
Carlijn de Groot Netherlands
Denise Hannema Netherlands
Marijn Nijman Netherlands
Abbi Aitken Scotland
Charlotte Bascombe Scotland
Leigh Kasperek Scotland
Fiona Urquhart Scotland