It’s Women Super League Lacrosse time! The 2019 Women’s Super League draft has been completed and we can now announce the four squads that will be fighting once again for WSLL honours.
Each team has selected a 20-player squad to take in to the two WSLL weekends in Warwick.
Northern Storm, the reigning champions, look strong once again this year retaining four England internationals from 2018; Camilla Hayes, Laura Merrifield, Emma Oakley, Jenny Simpson; as part of the protected draft.
The Storm also retain Katelyn Hoffman as Head Coach, on the coaching staff of the 2017 England World Cup squad, and highly experienced with the Super League setup, sure to bring consistency to an already talented group.
The Surrey Jets will this year be led by Gill Aldcroft, a vastly experienced Wales international goalkeeper who has played at two Women’s World Cups and coaches at North London Collegiate.
They also retain a couple of England internationals in Emily Gray and Emilie Chandler while also adding Welsh international Ros Lloyd Rout, who will no doubt provide heaps of knowledge and talent to the Jets squad.
Another squad with a coaching change for 2019 is the Warwick Mavericks with Paul Coups spearheading the Mavs this time around.
A big steal for the Mavericks this year is the addition of defender Chloe Chan, formerly of the Jets, who with the likes of Hellie Kellett-Clarke and Heather Macrae should be able form a formidable defensive unit.
Last year’s top scorer for the Mavericks, Torz Anderson, is not available this year which will be a loss in the goals department, but the talents of young attackers such as Chloe Wyner and Zimeng Wu shouldn’t be discounted.
Our final side, the London Royals, also have a familiar spine to their line-up with internationals Claire Faram, Katie Lehovsky, and Sophy Coombes-Roberts all retained from 2018.
The Royals squad, the leadership of which will be split between Martha Cornbrooks and England Senior Assistant Coach, Kate Nelson-Lee across the two weekends, looks a good mix of youth and experience and should be one to look out for in dethroning the Storm.
There are also a number of England Under 19 internationals in the squads, including Hannah Thurston (Royals), who is currently in her freshmen year at Duke, and Eleanor Bruce (Mavericks), who was victorious at the 2019 National Schools Championships with Berkhamsted, picking up the Best Midfielder award.
With the Under 19 World Championships only a few months away, it will be a great opportunity for the youngsters to test themselves at this high level ahead of potentially a huge Summer of action.
The 2019 Women’s Super League Lacrosse takes place across two consecutive Sundays, 19 & 26 May, at the University of Warwick, with free entry for spectators and live streaming of the event across England Lacrosse social media channels.
The second big WSLL announcement along with the revealing of the squads, is an adapted format for 2019 which will include the new Olympic-proposed six-a-side game.
In addition to the full 10 a-side matches, the morning session on each of the weekends will see each of the squads split into two teams to compete in round-robin six-a-side matches.
Teams will accumulate bonus points for each win in the Sixes format in addition to the five points on offer in the 10 a-side matches which could prove crucial in the final standings.