European Women’s Academy returns to Spain

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 10:59 AM

Sixteen talented female cricketers will travel to Murcia, Spain later this week for the annual ICC European Women's Academy.

Now an annual fixture in the Pepsi ICC European Development Programme, the academy will once again return to La Manga Club, a world-class leisure resort located on the South-Eastern coast of Spain on the Costa Calida - home of the ICC European Centre of Excellence and ICC European Emerging Player's Programme.

The week-long coaching programme will see talented young female cricketers from ICC Europe's High Performance Programme - Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland - working with members of the ICC Europe coaching team over an intense five-day coaching and skills programme. Like their male counterparts, the schedule will see the participants benefitting from a mixture of net sessions, video analysis, fielding and batting drills, wicket practice, and 1:1 discussions with coaches on player performance and goal-setting strategies.

The Women's Academy is now in its third year having relocated to the warmer spanish climates from its original home of Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland. The main aim of the event is to prepare each of the participants, both physically and mentally, for their forthcoming summer national and club programmes. However, there is also a very important long-term purpose: "Developing Women's Cricket and extending its reach throughout Europe is one of the five main objectives of the ICC European Development Programme," said ICC Regional Development Manager Richard Holdsworth. "We hope that the players participating in the academy programme will take what they learn back to their clubs making them better equipped to help grow the game in their own countries."

Richard Cox, Director of Cricket for the Warwickshire Cricket Board and Warwickshire CCC Academy Director, takes the role as Academy Director and will lead the coaching team which includes ICC Regional Performance Officer Philip Hudson; ICC Regional Development Officer John Stock; Laura Newton and Caroline Atkins, both highly established former and current England Women's team representatives. In addition to the coaching team, each country represented at the academy will send a coach to accompany their participants in both a leadership and coaching role.

Also attending this year's academy will be Mark Lane, head coach of the victorious England team that won the 2009 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup . Lane's achievements are indeed noteworthy: in addition to leading the England Women's team to World Cup glory in Sydney earlier this year, he steered them through a remarkable 2008 season firstly retaining the Ashes against Australia, followed by series wins in New Zealand, India, South Africa, and the West Indies. With the World Cup win fresh in everyone's minds, Lane will certainly offer inspiration to the academy participants and provide a unique insight in to the demands and expectations of international cricket at an elite level.

"We are delighted that the ECB are supporting this event once again in 2009," said Richard Holdsworth. "It will provide an excellent opportunity for more personalised coaching so that the best players in the European region can receive the expert tuition they need to help them better compete on the world stage in global events."

The ICC European Women's Academy runs from April 18-24.


Laura Cullen - Ireland
Eimear Richardson -Ireland
Sinead Lyons - Ireland
Joanne McKinley -Ireland
Gwen Morgan- Ireland
Rebecca Rolfe - Ireland
Abbi Aitken - Scotland
Charlotte Bascombe - Scotland
Leigh Kasperek - Scotland
Catherine Smaill -Scotland
Diane Pedgrift - Scotland
Marloes Braat - Netherlands
Laura Brouwers - Netherlands
Denise Hannema - Netherlands
Eveline Gerrits - Netherlands
Merel Krulder - Netherlands

Country leaders:
Rob O'Connor - Ireland
Neil Cameron - Scotland
Huub Jansen - The Netherlands

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