NEWS: England Announce Academy Pathway Revamp

The ECB have announced a restructuring of the England Women’s “Pathway” – splitting the Academy and age-group squads up into two new sections – a “Senior Academy” under ex Lancashire glove-butler John Stanworth and an “Academy” headed up by Loughborough Lightning Coach Salliann Briggs; with six “Regional Development Centers” beneath that, based on the six Super League franchises.

The squads for the 2016/17 winter training program are:

Senior Academy

Georgia Adams (Sussex)
Hollie Armitage (Yorkshire)
Georgia Boyce (Nottinghamshire)
Thea Brookes (Worcestershire)
Ellen Burt (Sussex)
Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent)
Freya Davies (Sussex)
Sophia Dunkley (Middlesex)
Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire)
Kate George (Hampshire)
Georgia Hennessy (Warwickshire)
Evelyn Jones (Staffordshire)
Hannah Jones (Surrey)
Emma Lamb (Lancashire)
Sophie Luff (Somerset)
Paige Scholfield (Sussex)
Bryony Smith (Surrey)
Linsey Smith (Berkshire)
Ellie Threlkeld (Lancashire)

As predicted, Alex MacDonald and Steph Butler are out of the picture, with Alice Davidson-Richards and Georgia Hennessy coming back in from the wilderness.

Academy

Lauren Bell (Berkshire)
Maria Bouchier (Middlesex)
Izzy Cloke (Kent)
Charlie Dean (Hampshire)
Alice Dyson (Derbyshire)
Emily Edgcombe (Cornwall)
Danielle Gibson (Gloucestershire)
Sarah Glenn (Derbyshire)
Amy Gordon (Surrey)
Eva Gray (Surrey)
Lucy Higham (Leicestershire)
Anna Nicholls (Middlesex)
Tara Norris (Sussex)
Millie Pope (Middlesex)
Rihanna Southby (Surrey)
Alex Travers (Surrey)
Katie Wolfe (Middlesex)

This squad is always going to be more fluid as players mature at different rates, but two notable absences from last year – Megan Belt, despite a very good county season, topping the bowling rankings; and Cordelia Griffith, who we understand was selected but has chosen to concentrate on her studies.

This article was updated on 4/11/2016 re. Cordelia Griffith’s situation.

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8 thoughts on “NEWS: England Announce Academy Pathway Revamp

  1. Selection is subjective so there’s little point in picking it apart.

    You’ve highlighted some notable omissions above (do we assume all the existing senior squad members are still senior squad members if their names don’t appear here ?).

    Notable inclusions (as in never, as far as I can tell been in the Academy before) are Thea Brookes (not even in the EWDP) and Lynsey Smith, both of which have ‘leap-frogged’ into the Senior Academy squad. One can’t but wonder whether their inclusion is the first cases of the KSL bearing fruit.

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    • “… do we assume all the existing senior squad members are still senior squad members if their names don’t appear here?”

      Right now, yes, because they are contracted until January. Come January…

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      • Is there not in fact two levels of Senior Squad – those with a contract (most of them) and a few without (eg Langston and Hartley are in the senior squad but not contracted I think and Dibble was in the senior Winter Performamce Squad last winter but is not contacted) ?

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    • As a Worcestershire supporter obviously I’m very pleased for Thea Brookes. Realistically she had one good KSL innings and a cameo four or five balls in the semi-final… because they were the only opportunities she effectively got. A lesson to anyone in taking the chances you’re given, however fleeting. It would be heartening to think her good County form played a part too, and I guess it did if only in helping to secure a KSL place to start with.

      Good to see openings for players outside Div 1.

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  2. At a snapshot is there a bit of a North and South divide when it comes to developing players? As far as I can see there is only one girl from our biggest county Yorkshire underneath the contracted players. Yorkshire have more men’s clubs than the rest of the country put together, so is this an indication that as a county they don’t invest in women’s cricket as much as say a small county like Kent ?

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    • Yorkshire hmmmmm. Well if performance is anything to go by it is the best performing Junior girls county by a mile having won 6 out of the 9 junior county champs over the last three years (U17,U15,U13). Plenty of great players who are just not progressed, but we are used to being overlooked up north until we somehow seem to beat the southerners.

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    • Not sure your investment theory holds water, Kent do not invest a significant amount in Women and Girls cricket due to budgetary constraints (hence their absence of a WSL bid) – they have been ‘lucky’ to have a number of players from the golden generation and this season has seen a few younger players being introduced and perform. Within the CAG Kent have had a number of girls in the old pathway as well.

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  3. I’m confused (nothing new there)…

    When the WSL academy structure was first touted on TMS it was suggested that this wouldn’t have an age limit allowing the system to catch late developers etc.

    Then there was an ECB announcement that the WSL Academy would work in parallel to the CAG U15s?

    Where are we now – exactly?

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