All of the female players in the elite pathway of Cricket Wales have been working hard throughout the winter to develop their mental, physical, technical and tactical skills. Seven of our players have been selected for various elite programmes throughout the 2018/19 winter.
Alex Griffiths (Briton Ferry Steel CC), Charlotte Scarborough (Newport CC) and Sophie Thomas (Radyr CC & Newport Women) were reselected in to the South West Regional Development Centre (SWRDC) for the 2018/19 programme. The SWRDC held three talent identification days at the end of the 2018 season where girls who have been identified by their counties as having potential to play at the next level are invited along to show case their skills. A squad of 14 were selected onto the programme. There are seven RDC programmes nationally and all are situated in the same locations as the KIA Super League franchise teams with the addition of a Midlands centre. The SWRDC is run in close conjunction with Western Storm which is led by Caroline Atkins-Foster the former England Women’s player, along with Aimee Rees Wales Women’s head coach, Sophie Luff and Amara Carr who have been members of the Western Storm squad for the last 3 years.
Charlotte, Alex and Sophie are all talented seam bowlers and top order batters. They have been heavily supported by Cricket Wales and by Richard Almond as part of the Senior Glamorgan Academy programme over the last four years. They are all part of the successful Cricket Wales senor women’s squad who were promoted to division one of the ECB Vitality T20 competition.
(Left – Right) ALEX GRIFFITHS, CHARLOTTE SCARBOROUGH & SOPHIE THOMAS
Sophia Smale (Newport CC) and Sara Phillips (Llanelli CC & Briton Ferry Steel Women) were selected on to the SWRDC for the first time. They are the youngest players on the programme which is a testament to their maturity and ability. Sara, a leg spinner and Sophia an all rounder who bowls slow left arm are both exciting prospects. The opportunity for them to be part of an elite programme such as this at such a young age will allow them to see what is expected of them to train and compete in an elite performance environment. Sophia has also been selected for the Wales under 16 hockey squad to play against Scotland over the Easter break, she is a talented all round sports woman.
(Left – Right) SOPHIA SMALE & SARA PHILLIPS
Seren Smale (Mold CC) who lives in North Wales was invited to attend the Lancashire Thunder talent identification process and was successfully selected on to their RDC programme. Seren is the first female in the north to be part on an RDC programme. The option for Seren to attend the RDC programme makes logistical sense and minimises travelling. Lancashire run a similar programme to the South West taking in to account physical, mental, technical and tactical development of all players. Seren is also a very talented tennis player.
Danielle Gibson who joined Wales Women from Gloucestershire at the start of the 2018 season has been reselected on to the England Women’s Academy. Danielle is a talented bowling all rounder which was evident from her selection into the Western Storm squad in 2018 at 17 years of age alongside three other welsh senior players, Rachel Priest (New Zealand), Claire Nicholas (Briton Ferry Steel CC) and Lauren Parfitt (Newport CC). Danielle is also an exceptional fielder and showed this on several occasions in the super league in 2018. Unfortunately for Danielle she has been injured with a lower back stress fracture this winter but she is well on the road to recovery after a comprehensive rehab programme provided by the ECB. We hope Danielle will be fit for the women’s county championship and T20 campaign in May and June 2019.
Aimee Rees Head of Women Girls at Cricket Wales said “I am so pleased for all of the girls on their selections. They all have a tremendous work ethic and its fantastic to see them getting selected for these elite programmes. I am sure they will continue to develop as cricketers and as people. Its great they are getting the recognition that they and Cricket Wales deserve as a significant investment has been made in the women and girl’s pathway over the last five years”