As the Team England sides continue their preparations ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games, both teams have today announced their captains for the tournament.
Cardiff Met Archers’ Stef Collins and Mike Tuck from DBL Sharks Sheffield will both have the honour of leading the Team England sides when the Games get underway in a little over a week’s time.
Tuck has been playing professionally for over 10 years during a career that has taken him to Cyprus, Luxembourg and France before he arrived in Sheffield in 2009. Appointed captain of the Sharks for the last 6 seasons, he has also played for an England select team against Scotland, a rematch of Team England’s opening game at this year’s Games on the Men’s side.
Collins is the most capped GB player in the game’s history with 145 appearances, and the talented guard has been playing as a professional since 2006 in WNBL Division One and more recently the WBBL. Captain of the Archers since 2007, and Head Coach of the side since 2012, she is sure to prove a very able appointment.
“I’m really delighted to be named captain of this England Women’s team. It makes me so proud that I get to lead this wonderful group of players into battle,” said 2012 Olympian Collins. “This is the 2nd time I’ve been at a multi-sport competition and playing on a World stage comes with a lot of responsibility. I know some of these players are new to that environment and it can be easy to get distracted with everything that is going on. We’re a great unit, we’ve shown a really great cohesion, the chemistry is there and to stay at our best we have to do that. It’s going to be an excellent tournament!”
“This is a truly great honour; I couldn’t be happier with the decision,” said Tuck, who captains the DBL Sharks Sheffield in the BBL. “With so many great players and great leaders on this team, to be chosen was a big moment for me. The biggest difference to captaining at club level will be that all these guys are used to being captains themselves, and big time players. That should really help and all these guys know what to expect, we have so many good players in this team.”
“I called my mum to tell her the news and the connection on the phone wasn’t that great. I told them I’d been named captain and there was a few seconds of silence. Then there was this massive scream, so she seems pretty excited about this as well!”
Both teams are currently in a 10-day training camp in Brisbane to prepare for the Gold Coast Games. The Men’s side will open Pool B play against Scotland on 5 April and the Women start their campaign a day later on 6 April with a tie against Canada. The Men complete pool play with further games against India on 7 April and Cameroon on 8 April and the Women round out their schedule in Pool A against Mozambique and Australia on the 8 and 9 April.