The ECB have today confirmed the list of Academy players for 2018/19, as well as announcing another revamp of the pathway system, with the Junior and Senior Academy squads now once again merged into one.
The big news is that Lancashire Thunder wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld has been dropped from the squad, leaving England with no Academy keeper – Mark Robinson apparently confident that Sarah Taylor and Amy Jones will do the job for a number of years to come.
Several other players who were in the Academy last year have also been “promoted”, with Freya Davies, Alice Davidson-Richards and Linsey Smith all now on “Rookie” contracts.
A question mark remains over Bryony Smith, who is no longer in the Academy squad but who played for the full side earlier in the year in the India tri-series. We understand that she has been training with the full squad for several months, and the likelihood is that she is also now a contracted “Rookie”, though the ECB will not be announcing the full list of contracted players until after the World Twenty20.
An additional 13 players have also been named in a new “Winter Training Squad”, which looks like it will de facto replace the old Junior Academy, with the aim to offer support for players who are currently seen as having the potential to be part of the EWA in the future.
The full squads are below:
England Women’s Academy
- Lauren Bell (Berkshire)
- Hollie Armitage (Yorkshire)
- Georgia Boyce (Nottinghamshire)
- Emma Lamb (Lancashire)
- Charlie Dean (Hampshire)
- Sophia Dunkley (Middlesex)
- Danielle Gibson (Gloucestershire)
- Mady Villiers (Essex)
- Kirstie Gordon (Nottinghamshire)
- Ellie Mitchell (Cornwall)
- Amy Gordon (Surrey)
- Ella McCaughan (Sussex)
- Eva Gray (Surrey)
- Maia Bouchier (Middlesex)
- Bess Heath (Derbyshire)
- Sarah Glenn (Derbyshire)
- Rhianna Southby (Surrey)
- Issy Wong (Warwickshire)
- Nat Wraith (Gloucestershire)
- Leah Dobson (Yorkshire)
- Ria Fackrell (Warwickshire)
- Georgia Draper (Yorkshire)
- Lucia Kendall (Hampshire)
- Alice Capsey (Surrey)
- Helen Fenby (Durham)
Seems a strange move to dispense with Threlkeld, who looked a real prospect during the KSL. She maybe even had enough potential with the bat alone, but seems to be a good ‘keeper to me. I guess it may be a case of a limited number of spots available. Will we ever find out?
Yet another “strange” selection, or non selection. Poor Ellie Threlkeld, great potential, excellent keeper, can hold a bat too.
The training squad has a sprinkling of new, unknown names.
I hope they show up strongly to warrant their nomination.
Wraith, Dobson, Facknell, Draper, Kendall and Capsey appear to be completely new to more or less any county-plus level selection.
Fenby and Glenn played for EWA most recently on 24th April 2018 in a T20 against Oz.
Gray and Southby were in the Senior Academy Squad for 17/18.
Bouchier was in the 16/17 Winter Performance Squad.
Heath and Wong appeared in the England U15 Super 3s back in 2015.
Issy Wong had a very good season for Worcs, on loan from Warks. Still only 16, I think, maybe 17 now. Bowls with good – very good -pace, and hits the ball well. Watched her a few times, I think she has real potential. She’s a raw but natural cricketer, and (trying to be careful how I put it) I hope the coaches don’t meddle with her game too much.