With the 2015 Women’s Home Internationals now just a week away, we caught up with the England’s National Team Director, Phil Collier, to ask what we can expect from his squads during the tournament, and to find out little more about his new Ready To Roar approach for England Lacrosse.
How are you feeling going into the Tournament?
I am really looking forward to this year’s Home International tournament. The players have worked very hard over the last eight months or so, both on and off the field, and the games against Scotland and Wales will be our first real competitive test. A chance to move from preparation to performance, and to measure our progress as a squad.
What are you expecting from the England teams?
We will have to be at the top of our game if we want to do well, but I am excited by the potential of our squad. We have a good balance of youth and experience. Our head of strength and conditioning has done a great job and our squad is full of energy, pace and athleticism. Our focus at the tournament will be on our own performance. We have been developing a new playing strategy, and will be seeing some player combinations in action together for the first time.
We actually have three teams playing at the Home Internationals – our Red and White squads in the main tournament, and our Development Squad playing a game v Scotland B. We have genuine competition for places in all positions, something we believe is essential if we are to raise the bar in terms of team performance. So England has lots of exciting young players on show and we are really looking forward to seeing them play.
In what ways will the Home Internationals prepare the squads for what’s to come?
These are exciting times for English Lacrosse. Hosting the women’s World Cup in 2017 and the men’s World Championship in 2018, gives us a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport and continue to grow participation. Equally important, home advantage gives the England teams a real chance to be amongst the medals.
This year our main competitive focus is on the European Championships which are due to take place from 6-16 August in the Czech Republic. We know that Scotland and Wales are also preparing their squads for the Euros and so we expect them to be firing on all cylinders when we meet them at the Home Internationals.
Finally, what vision do you have for the Senior Women’s programme moving forward?
English Lacrosse has been putting in place a new talent development system alongside an improved coach education and support system. The England squad is working closely with Jane Powell and Paul Coups to make sure that national team development (men’s and women’s) is fully integrated with these English Lacrosse programmes.
It’s an honour and a privilege to be the Women’s National Team Director, but it is also a big challenge as we build a team looking to do well at the 2017 World Cup. The response from the players to our new approach has been very positive and so we are all looking forward to the competition. We are “ready to roar” – come along and support us!
Written by: Jane Brierly
2015 Home Internationals Schedule
Friday 27th March
11.45 England White v Wales
2.30 England Red v Scotland Saturday
Saturday 28th March
11.30 England White v Scotland
2.15 England Red v Wales
Sunday 29th March
11.30 Wales v Scotland
2.00 England Red v England White