Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Elite Women Project Camp

By Andrew Gambrill

The Elite Women Project (EWP) attended the GB Lions mens team residential camp as guests of the National Programme.
Eighteen players attended 2 who were injured but still insisted they attend in their “Civvies.” With 4 coaches and 3 more support staff to ensure the weekend was full of football.
The aim of the camp was to select an 11 player squad for the March Mayhem tournament in London. Eight teams were represented with Coventry Cougars having the most players invited to the camp. In tough weather conditions that are to be expected in the North West of England in February the players went through two 4 hour training sessions as well as individual meetings on the Saturday night.
Becky Rafferty, courtesy of Boom Boom.

Most of the players were well known to the coaches as for the majority of them had attended most if not all the previous EWP sessions. Many of the positions on the team had established strong contenders though the position of Quarterback, Centre and safety had no obvious starters.
First time attendees Chloe Baton had come on recommendation via the EWP scouting network as a QB with some potential, likewise Lem Styles came for the first time on recommendation from Plymouth Bolts.. The final newbie was Thea Walton whom Head Coach Andrew Gambrill recalled terrorising his Leicester Eagles junior team a few years ago.
Chloe Baton, uncredited.
Chloe of Royal Holloway Bears instantly impressed as she integrated well with the squad members and led some scoring drives early on the Saturday morning session.
Lem’s athleticism was apparent early on but a groin injury clearly reduced her effectiveness on the Sunday.
Thea from Woodham Warriors progressed throughout the weekend and by the end of Sunday had done enough to convince the coaches she was worthy of a squad place.
As for the positions of need The Elite are now well stacked at QB with Chloe and Warwick’s Jessica Critchley and Cov Uni’s utility player Natalie Parker also in the mix. Rebecca Small of Hertfordshire Tornadoes established herself as the clear first choice centre with consistently quick and accurate snaps. The safety spot was claimed by Staffordshire Fillie Becky Rafferty who had 3 picks during scrimmages.
All in all it was the perfect result for the EWP coaching staff with two of the three newbies making the squad and the areas of need addressed.
Final Squad
Louise Lee (Warwick)
Chloe Baton (Royal Holloway)
Tendai Chieza (Coventry Jets)
Jessica Critchley (Warwick)
Becky Rafferty (Staffordshire)
Natalie Parker (Coventry University)
Thea Walton (Woodham)
Millie Barrett (Coventry Cougars)
April Heath (Royal Holloway)
Rebecca Small (Hertfordshire)
Kellie Barrett (Coventry Cougars)

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