Victoria’s Under 23 Women’s team will be out to improve on last year’s third place finish when the 2018 Under 23 National Championships get underway in Redlands in Queensland next week.
The Vics have been busy in their preparations in the lead up to this year’s Nationals, with the squad training together every Wednesday night and Sunday morning since April.
Victorian Under 23 Women’s Head Coach Karl Willmott said he had been pleased with the squad’s build up to the tournament and was expecting a strong showing from his team.
“Donna Scammell and Geoff Norden (assistant coaches) are guiding and mentoring the girls into a well-drilled team that will be a very competitive machine in this year’s Nationals,” Willmott said.
“This year we have focused on batting quicker pitches, as we are known as a very good defence team but have struggled to turn offence into winning scores.
“The coaching staff and I feel that we have a strong group of girls that are skilled, motivated that have bonded into a competitive team that will do everything in their power to better their result this year.”
Victoria’s fortunes in the Under 23 Nationals will rely heavily on the performances of Alys Young and Sarah Beales, who have taken on co-captaincy duties for the campaign. Young was a member of the Victorian Titans team that competed at the 2018 Open Women’s Nationals earlier this year, while Beales will be looking to replicate the form that saw her named as the catcher in the 2017 Under 23 Nationals All Tournament Team.
While expecting big things from the team’s leaders, Willmott said he was confident the Vics had a good mix within the group to excel throughout the tournament in the face of strong competition.
“It is really pleasing that we are up to seven teams competing this year for the trophy,” Willmott said.
“Alys and Sarah are very capable in leading the girls to being their very best on and off the field.
“This group of Under 23 girls has a strong base, with over half the team growing from last year’s campaign along with the inclusion of some new faces to add some depth to the team.
“I can’t wait to see these ladies play and be very competitive while working towards achieving the title this year.”
The Under 23 Women’s National Championships will take place on July 11-14 in Redlands, with Victoria kicking off their campaign next Wednesday against the US Athletes. You can view the full Victorian Under 23 Women’s side here.