Basketball England are delighted to announce the final 12 player rosters for the upcoming European Championships for the both the U16 and U18 women. The U18 get their competiton underway in just 5 days time against Ireland in Sarajevo, whilst the U16s have to wait until 5th August to face Bulgaria in Romania.
Head Coach Vanessa Ellis will be delighted to be able to call upon the experience of Gabi Nikitinaite for her squad with the Sevenoaks Suns player averaging 16 minutes a game during the GB U20's recent European campaign. WEABL Finals MVP Chloe Gaynor is also in the squad, along with WEABL Player of the Year Ruchae Walton and WEABL Defensive Player of the Year Jessica Eadsforth-Yates.
Nikitinaite and Freya Cooney return the the squad that finished 12th in Bucharest, Romania a year ago.
Coach Ellis' team will no doubt be aided by the significant experience of Assistant Coach Stef Collins and Apprentice Coach Julie Page. The pair possess over 180 international caps between them and are sure to have a large amount of knowledge to pass on.
(The U18W squad after being presented with their playing jerseys by Head Coach Vanessa Ellis, photo courtesy of Sadie Mason)
The squad fly out on the 20th July before 1 warm up games against hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina later this week. The team will then face initial group games against Estonia, Greece, Ireland and Republic of Macedonia.
The U18 Womens Squad for the 2016 European Championships:
1) Freya Cooney - Ipswich
2) Jessica Eadsforth-Yates - Leicester Riders
3) Chloe Gaynor - Barking Abbey
4) Milly Knowles - Barrow Thorns/Lancashire Spinners
5) Abigail Lowe - Barking Abbey
6) Jo Lowry - City of Sheffield Hatters
7) Gabrielle Nikitinaite - Sevenoaks Suns
8) Ashleigh Pink - Ipswich
9) Anna Popovic - Leicester Riders
10) Harriet Swindells - Leicester Riders
11) Ruchae Walton - Leicester Riders
12) Imani Whittington - Barking Abbey
Head Coach - Vanessa Ellis
Assistant Coach - Stef Collins
Apprentice Coach - Julie Page
Performance Analyst - Ieuan Alex Jones
Physiotherapists - Charlotte Lloyd & Claire Farqhuarson
S & C Coach - Matt Smith
Team Manager - Sadie Mason
Lee Davie's squad had a successful selection camp over the past weekend with 2 competitive victories v Scotland U18 women, 63-52 and 61-56, at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.
The squad now goes into full swing with its preparations for the upcoming European Championships, selecting 12 players and 2 reserves before warm up games in Hungary on 22nd and 23rd of July. Coach Davie is looking forward to getting a closer look at the group in competitive play.
"As a staff we're really excited about where the girls game is headed" he said. "After three days, four practices and two games against Scotland u18 women, we were faced with tough decisions. The talent pool for this age group is wide and deep, which is a testament to all the good work going on up and down the country. Moving forwards we are looking continue to build on this past weekends good work as we prepare to face a very tough Division A team in Hungary."
(The U16W squad and staff with the their U18 counterparts from Scotland, photo courtesy of Lorraine Dagger)
Returning to the team are Charlotte Ellmore, Hannah Jump, Loie Webb and Holly Winterburn who represented their country at the European Championships in Matosinhos in 2015.
The U16 Womens Squad for the 2016 European Championships:
1) Esther Atunrase - Lewisham Thunder
2) Loren Christie - Oaklands Wolves
3) Charlotte Ellmore - Southend Swifts
4) Tia Freeman - Surrey Goldhawks
5) Shauna Harrison - City of Sheffield Hatters
6) Ashana Hinds - Manchester Mystics
7) Maya Hyacienth - Nottingham Wildcats
8) Hannah Jump - Fever AAU California (USA)
9) Esther Little - Ipswich
10) Lauren Saa - Sporting Club Albion
11) Loie Webb - East Persians Australia (AUS)
12) Holly Winterburn - Northants Lightning/Leicester Riders
13) Megan Haines - Brixton Topcats
14) Katie Richards - Sevenoak Suns
Head Coach - Lee Davie
Assistant Coach - Steve Vear
Apprentice Coach - Rachel Clayden
Performance Analyst - Barney Blake
Physiotherapist - Charlie Cotterill
S & C Coach - Sam Heathcote
Team Manager - Lorraine Dagger