Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Ireland ready for World T20 Qualifier

Ireland have been preparing for the WWT20 Qualifier, which starts in Bangkok on 28th November, with a training camp in La Manga in Spain. Irish captain Isobel Joyce will be blogging for WCB as Ireland attempt to qualify for their second WWT20 tournament. They will need to get to the final of the WWT20 Qualifier tournament to win a place in India next March. We will follow them and the other seven hopefuls throughout the tournament.

Having just returned from La Manga, Isobel Joyce gives us her first inside view, ahead of the announcement of the Irish squad which has just been announced as:-
Isobel Joyce (Captain) (Merrion), Cath Dalton (Middlesex), Laura Delany (Leinster), Kim Garth (Pembroke), Jenny Gray (YMCA), Cecelia Joyce (Merrion), Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke), Amy Kenealy (Leinster), Gaby Lewis (YMCA), Robyn Lewis (YMCA), Ciara Metcalfe (Pembroke), Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA), Clare Shillington (YMCA), Mary Waldron (Malahide)

The toughest thing about coming home from a training camp like our recent trip to La Manga is going straight back into full-time work, when all you really want to do is keep living like a full-time athlete.
Autumn sun to train in at La Manga

We are less than three weeks out from travelling to Thailand for the Women's World T20 Qualifier, and every session feels like it's making a difference. The training camp came at a perfect time for the squad, a gruelling three days feeling like a holiday in some ways - because we didn't have anything, like work, college or school, to drag our focus away from cricket. And during the next two weeks, nobody will need motivation to get all of the gym, conditioning and training sessions in...okay, we may still need some motivation for those conditioning sessions.

It was also the perfect opportunity for newcomer Cath Dalton to get in amongst the girls and get to know people better. Both of Cath's parents are Irish so she was well up for the non-stop chatter and banter that comes along with any group of Irish people. When she got 'stuck' at a table with all of the oldies at dinner and was able to hold her own, I knew she was a good fit for the team.

The training camp gave the squad more time with our new assistant coach, recently retired international, Alex Cusack. It is easy to see why he was such a mainstay on the Ireland men's team. His straightforward, no-nonsense approach, coupled with his calm demeanor and a vast knowledge of the T20 game means that his input is well taken and very valuable to the team. And even though he is a very laid back Aussie, his years of experience around the likes of Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson prepared him well for a group of noisy Irish women.

The trip away was a definite positive for our head coach, Aaron Hamilton. The only headache he might have now is from trying to decide on his best team as every player showed their worth in the match scenarios on the last day.

Just 16 days until we travel, sure it will only fly by.

Isobel Joyce

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to the rest of these updates. Good luck to Ireland in qualifying.