Joyce calls for increased opportunities

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 10:44 AM

Joyce calls for increased opportunities
Irish star Isobel Joyce has called for increased opportunities for her side to play international matches ahead of the ICC European Senior Women's Championship which begins next week.

Ireland, who narrowly missed out on a place at the ICC Women's World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 2009, have struggled to attract leading international opposition and Joyce believes it is imperative that her side has the chance to test itself against the best in the world if they are to improve.

The full interview is here:

Are you looking forward to the European Championships?

I am really looking forward to the European Championships. We have been training together with our new permanent coach, Paul Delany, since the RSA Twenty2020 Pakistan series. I hope that our performances in this tournament will reflect the training we have done and that we are moving forward as a squad.

Do you think your side is capable of victory at the event?

We are quietly confident going into this tournament. We have a good record against both Scotland and Holland and we know both teams very well, so I hope that will work to our advantage.

Will the Netherlands be a tough test?

The Netherlands have come on a lot since when I first played against them in the European Cup in 1999. They are a lot stronger and know their strengths and weaknesses well so we are taking nothing for granted.

How disappointing was it to miss out on the ICC Women's World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 2009?

It was obviously very disappointing to miss out on the World Cup, but I don't think that we have proved yet that we deserved to be there. We definitely have the ability and talent to break into the top 8, but we need to show that on the international stage.

How important are events like this for trying to close the gap on the world's top sides?

It's very difficult to close the gap between Ireland and the teams above us without playing international games regularly. I have never been on a tour with Ireland that has not been to a tournament except to go to England to play county teams. Countries like England, Australia, New Zealand play internationally all of the time. They play ODI series and they play in Triangular tournaments and they are always learning and evolving. That is just not possible for us in Ireland at the moment and it is frustrating at times.

Add to that the fact that we didn't qualify for the two world events, and it cuts out a lot of our opportunity to play the top teams. Instead we are relying on tournaments and on teams traveling to Ireland to play against us. I had the honour of receiving my 50th cap in May, but it made me laugh to think that it came 10 years after I first won a cap playing against India.

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