Players to watch at Home Internationals – Wales & Scotland

We catch up with Wales and Scotland ahead of this weekend by talking to two up and coming players. Wales’s Erin Walters and Scotland’s Lizy Gill and found out how their preperations were going for this summers World Cup in July and their expectations for this weekends tournament.

Wales – Erin Walters

Age: 27
School/Occupation: 
Cambridge University/PHd Student (History)
Club: 
Cambridge University
Position: 
Goalie
Honours: 
Wales Senior (2010 – 2013)

 

 

Q+A with Erin

1. What is training like in this World Cup Year?
Training has certainly been intense and very focused this year. We have a busy schedule of squad weekends, which go alongside well-measured and individualised strength and conditioning programmes and the extra training and game-time we get with our separate clubs.  Training goes beyond the physical, however—there has been a lot of extra emphasis placed on fun, camaraderie, and the like.

2. How important are competitions like the Home Internationals, especially this year?
We get to play against the best competition in Europe at Home Ints, and it’s always fun to play against opponents that aren’t just ourselves at practice!  It’s a great opportunity to check in, see where we stand, and keep building accordingly.  I also love the rivalries between the home nations teams, and the mood of the tournament is certainly invigorating.

3. What will the team be looking to achieve at the Home Internationals?
To win it, of course! We have really come together as a very tight unit over the past months, and we are all very excited to get onto the pitch against our old rivals and show them what Wales Lacrosse has become.

4. What are the strengths you bring to the team?
As a goalkeeper, it’s my job to not only make saves but to be that defensive cornerstone and lynchpin.  There are few things more exhilarating than pumping up my teammates with saves to launch the counter-attack, feed off their great plays, and build energy and excitement from the defense up.  I’m also coming off a second-straight BUCS Championship with Cambridge, so on a personal level I am riding a lot of momentum going into Home Internationals and can’t wait to channel that into successes on the pitch with Wales.

5. Which game are you most looking forward to at the Home Ints?
Our games against England are always highly anticipated, and we are gunning to leave it all on the field and walk away with a win.  Wales and England have a good rivalry, but we’re ready to turn the tables.  That said, I’ve always particularly enjoyed playing against Scotland and so am eager to have some fun on the pitch against them.

6. Do you have a pre game ritual?
I don’t have a pre-game ritual so to speak, but I always look to reach a state of complete calmness before every game.  I like to listen to music alone for a bit and then get excited with my teammates and feed off the pre-game locker room mood.  When we get onto the pitch, I like a very calculated warm-up that’s all about me being able see the ball, tune in my muscle-memory, and make lots of saves.  My teammates jokingly call me a ‘high-maintenance goalkeeper’ because of this, but we don’t see it as a bad thing!  It’s all about building mental confidence and maintaining control.  That’s not to say, though, that I’m not superstitious—I have a lucky shirt, for example, and my wearing of eyeblack is not totally utilitarian!

Scotland – Lizy Gill

Age: 18
School/Occupation: 
Student
Club: 
Timperley
Position: 
Midfield
Honours: 
Scotland U21 (2007 – 2011), Scotland Senior (2011-2013) 

 

 

Q+A with Lizzy

1. What is training like in this World Cup Year?
Training has been tough and intense as it involves lots of travelling between Edinburgh and London. I have been fitting in fitness after schools most days as well as in my free lesson time.

2. How important are competitions like the Home Internationals, especially this year?
This years Home Internationals are very important as it is the last big tournament before the World Cup. Getting to play together in an international setting as a team is vital as it allows us to try all the things we have worked on – also gives us a chance to stand our ground on home soil.

3. What will the team be looking to achieve at the Home Internationals?
Scotland have their own goals as a team that we are aiming to achieve as well as individual goals for each player. We especially want to put our training into practice to work out where we are up to with our World Cup build up – obviously we want to win.

4. What are the strengths you bring to the team?
International experience. I have managed to get a lot of international play from a young age which has given me a lot of insight into the game at a high level. 

5. Which game are you most looking forward to at the Home Ints?
I am looking forward to the match against Wales as it will be highly competitive and there is always rivalry there as it will undoubtedly be a close game with some tough call’s and aggressive play.

6. Do you have a pre game ritual?
I like to eat a high carb and protein meal the night before, then watch TV to take my mind of the next day and relax ahead of a long sleep so I’m ready for the big game!