Victorian Women’s Team pre-season heads to Coffs Harbour

August 23, 2022
Victorian Women’s Team pre-season heads to Coffs Harbour

The team play two matches each against Queensland and New South Wales.

Head Coach Jarrad Loughman said the trip provides an opportunity to get out and compete in matches against quality opposition.

“With four extra games this season, one of our key focuses and strategies this year is to expose players to more match opportunities. We’re certainly making it our key driver to get more games into players and in particular our younger players.

“September will see us play a range of practice matches at Junction Oval with the contracted squad and also the Cricket Victoria Emerging Players Program.

“Creating more match opportunities will hopefully help once we get to pressure match situations during the WNCL, but it also enables us to have a look at players from outside our contract list.

“Having depth in the squad and also externally through Premier Cricket and in the Emerging Player Program is critical, we’re always looking to develop that. On this trip, we’ve got Milly Illingworth and Madison Albers joining the group from the Emerging Players Program, which is exciting for them.”

With five of the 19 Victorian contracted players being centrally Australian contracted, the depth of the squad may be tested at times.

“You want the best team available as much as you can when you’re playing domestic cricket at WNCL level, but that’s not always the case. It’s important for players outside of the squad to be ready and it’s really exciting for them to be able to show what they can do,” Loughman said.

“It’s great to be able to get out of Melbourne and have a week away in different conditions, it also provides our younger players with exposure to the travel and the other sides of the game as much as the matches themselves.

“We’re certainly looking forward to seeing what everyone can do up here and then we still have a month of pre-season before round one in Adelaide against South Australia.

After finishing at the bottom of the ladder last season, Loughman has identified several areas of imporvement for the coming campaign.

“There’s no hiding from last season being a tough year for Victoria on the field. Howeveer, unavailabilities to our best players provided an opportunity to expose other players to roles that they have either never played before or never played for an extended period at that level.

“Hopefully that experience holds them in good stead going forward, but it also produced some inconsistency. One key thing among the several things that we need to improve is being better for longer.

“It felt like there were times in games last year where we were right in the game, but there were long periods of play where we drifted out of the contest, whether that was with the bat, ball or in the field.

“Consistency comes with experience and exposure to match situations as well as confidence in your own game and each other as a team. That’s something we’re trying to build with our young squad.

“Bring better for longer is something we’re trying to build in all facets of the game and hopefully we’re on the way to doing that.

“Hopefully, once we get into the season that gives us the best chance of performing well and seeing some good performances from the team and individuals this summer.”

Travelling squad: Nicole Faltum (c), Madison Albers*, Tiana Atkinson, Sam Bates, Makinley Blows, Sophie Day, Tess Flintoff, Ella Hayward, Olivia Henry, Milly Illingworth, Rhys McKenna, Rhiann O’Donnell, Sophie Reid

* non-Victorian contracted players

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