On Friday 3rd June, Team England touched down in Melbourne ahead of making a guest appearance in the Australian National State Championships (#laxnats) beginning on Saturday. Torz Anderson and Claire Faram caught up with Team England captains, Laura Merrifield and Ashleigh Gloster ahead of their first two games against New Zealand and Victoria. Here’s what they had to say…
Hi both – thanks for taking the time to chat with us this evening… we appreciate the jet lag must be kicking in by now! We would love to get captains’ opinions on how our preparations have gone so far and what we can look forward to for the rest of tour; so let’s begin…
We have just landed down under after our Malaysian leg of tour for a training camp – how do you think this training camp went and how has it helped our preparations for the Australia leg of tour?
Laura: Malaysia was an incredible experience. It gave the team time to adjust to jet lag and to complete mobility sessions to prepare our bodies for competition. The coaches held meetings to approach the psychological and tactical elements of the game, which helped inspire and motivate the group for the Australian adventure. We also had time to relax and get to know each other, building on team cohesion. It was an amazing experience being able to train in the jungle.
Ashleigh: The training in Malaysia was fantastic! It was a great opportunity to bond as a team, train in some gorgeous (but hot!!) weather and work through some of our team strategy. It was definitely a worthwhile few days.
We have only just touched down in Melbourne after a lot of travelling – how is the team feeling and what can you outline what we got up to today to help combat jet lag and heavy legs?
Laura: Stepping on Australian soil for the first time created huge excitement throughout the team; the travelling was starting to catch up with the players but they did not let this stop them from being excited and settling in well. The day was slow paced allowing everyone to sleep before a mobility and stick work session. We had a stick work competition and other extra curricular fun (available for your entertainment soon on our social media channels!)
Ashleigh: The team is feeling really positive and excited to step up to the challenge. We’ve been training all year and this is the culmination of all those hours of work. We can’t wait to start playing and test ourselves.
As captains, how do you feel leading Team England into the Australian National State Championships?
Laura: I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to lead our team playing in the Australian Nationals State Championships; this is a fantastic opportunity for Team England Lacrosse to implement what we have been training so long and so hard for. All of the individual fitness and skill sessions, linked with squad practices, are all going to be put together on a competitive stage and I cannot wait to step on the field along side my teammates.
Ashleigh: We are really excited to head into the state championships. We know that we’ll be facing some aggressive and feisty competition, and that’s exactly what we need to play against to continue to improve ahead of the World Championships next summer.
What is your favourite moment of tour so far and why?
Laura: My favourite moment of tour has been welcoming in our overseas players to make the squad as one. We have a few players based outside of the UK and although we keep in touch regularly it is so nice to finally have them with us as part of one big Team England squad.
Ashleigh: I loved our training camp in Malaysia. It felt like we were really clicking in the defensive end and it’s been awesome to watch our attack flow and develop. By far though, my favourite moments have taken place off the pitch. It’s a pretty special to have the opportunity to spend three weeks with some of your closest friends so it’s been a lot of fun so far and I’m sure there are many more laughs to come!
What are your expectations for the competition and how to you hope to achieve these?
Laura: I am excited to put into practice the tools our coaches have given us and to work hard as a team to begin fulfilling our potential. If we take care of the little things the greater outcomes will take care of themselves.
Ashleigh: We expect the state championship and New Zealand matches to be physical, aggressive and competitive. It’s exactly what we need to raise our game to the next level. At the end of the day though, this tour is all about learning and getting us where we need to be in July 2017. To achieve this, it will be all about working together, playing ‘big’ and enjoying the experience. I can’t wait for it all to begin!
Amazing, thank you so much for your time … we are very excited about tour and what is to come in the run up to 2017 too!
If you want to keep up to date with team England throughout their Australian tour, follow them on social media via the handles below for updates, photos and more blog posts from the Team England girls.
follow the tournament #LAXNATS