One of the most difficult tasks for any Coaching Staff is to select a group of players to represent their country in an international match. This was never more evident than last weekend when the SWNTP Staff sat down to determine which twelve players would travel to Malta to compete in the CEV Small Countries Division Final/FIVB World Championship Round 1.
The weekend began with a practice match against a strong Men’s Club Select played at Coltness High School on Saturday. While the men had a clear advantage in terms of hitting weight, especially over a ‘women’s height’ net, they were certainly matched in terms of competition. Six sets were played over the course of the morning and the girls battled hard to cope with the power and height advantage that the men had. At times it was too much yet at others not only did they contain the men’s offence but they put their block and defence under some significant pressure. It was a really worthwhile exercise and moved our preparation up another notch. Our thanks go to the Men’s Club Select for giving up their time to support the Programme.
On Sunday it was back to squad practice at the University of Stirling. The momentum from the previous day’s match continued to build as the players pushed to claim one of the twelve slots in the Malta Squad. It was a really positive day and all that was left at the end was to select that final twelve.
The level that has now been reached within the Programme is considerable and this is due to the contribution that every player has made. The last SWNTP article spoke about the PowerX, the collective work of the squad in practice, and this is why we have reached where we are now. The twelve players who would make the squad would do so not just on their own efforts but on the efforts of everyone and in particular those unfortunate enough not to be selected.
There were some tough calls to make and some disappointed players as a result. However, the way in which the whole squad has reacted to the squad announcement and the support that has been provided to those who didn’t make it has simply underlined what it means to be part of this squad.
Now we have to turn that inner collective strength into a performance!
The twelve players selected for Malta are:
Lynne Beattie (Hotel Cristal VFM)
Linsey Bunten, (Troon, Prestwick and Ayr)
Alex Dickenson (Su Ragazzi)
Anneka Hastings (Vannes VC)
Elaine Krawczyk (Troon, Prestwick and Ayr)
Caitlin McEwan (North Lanarkshire VC)
Laura McReady (Su Ragazzi)
Jo Morgan (Engelholm)
Naomi Symonds (City of Edniburgh)
Cathy Smy (Aberdonia)
Jenn Thom (City of Edinburgh)
Kay Wheatley (Troon, Prestwick and Ayr)
Scotland Senior Women’s Programme