England Lacrosse has today (Tuesday 23 April) announced the 18-player squad selected for the 2019 ELF Women’s European Championships in Netanya, Israel.
England enter the tournament, taking place across 15-25 July, as the reigning European Champions after taking gold against Wales, 11-8, in the Czech Republic back in 2015.
The England team is packed with experience and includes nine bronze-medal winners from the 2017 World Cup, eight gold-medal winners from the 2015 Euros, and 4 bronze winners from the 2015 U19s World Cup.
Women’s National Team Director, Phil Collier said: “I really want to congratulate the 18 players on their selection. These are very hard earned places; It’s tough to get in our first team, and we have had some very difficult decisions to make.
“The successful A and B team performances at the recent Home Internationals gave a clear demonstration of the quality and depth we currently have in the senior squad, and we have been able to select the European Championship team from a real position of strength.”
England will be looking to build on the excellent performance of the A team, who put in commanding displays against Germany, Wales and Scotland – three opponents that we will face again in the Blue division at the Euros.
Collier added: “We believe that this is a very strong and exciting squad, the makeup of which reflects the changing demands of top level international lacrosse.
“The move to ten a side has seen the game speeding up, in both speed of movement and speed of thought. Also, with tournament squad sizes remaining at 18, there are now more opportunities to include specialist players who can have an impact from the bench and offer different tactical options for the team”.
“We’ve made just two changes to the Home Internationals squad. In come Emily Gray and Megan Whittle, each with World Cup playing experience.
“Both are tough competitors, great in transition, and will definitely add to our goal scoring threat. They replace Annie Hillier and Kirsten Lafferty, neither of whom were available for selection on this occasion”.
The team also includes six players and six staff who were members of the squad that visited Israel last summer, where we competed successfully at the International Women’s festival running alongside the Men’s World Championships.
“The experience was a good opportunity to visit the venues for this year’s Euros, and to experience the local conditions (its hot!), accommodation and eating options. All very useful and has helped us to be well prepared for our trip to Netanya in July,” Collier said.
“Coming in as the holders, we know England will once again be favourites to retain the trophy and as I’ve said before, we are now learning to live with that level of expectation.
“We always play to win our games, looking to play to our potential, playing our game, regardless of the opponent.
“Our team is evolving, new players, new staff, and new tactics. This summer’s tournament in Israel will be an opportunity for us to be in the spotlight and test ourselves against the very best teams in Europe!”.
2019 ELF Women’s European Championships squad