Following a successful opening week in training camp, head coach Peter Buckle has cut the GB Senior Women's squad to 14 in advance of their first international Tests in Italy this weekend.
Coach Buckle cuts GB Senior Women's squad to 14
A squad of 13 has assembled at the University of Worcester Arena this week and worked hard under coaches Peter Buckle, Vanessa Ellis and Damian Jennings. But, after six practice sessions, the squad has been reduced with Head Coach Buckle taking the tough decision to release Jenaya Wade-Fray and Chantelle Pressley. The players were informed last night and will be leaving camp today.
Buckle told gbbasketball.com, "Deselection is never the best part of the head coach's role. However we are lucky that the two players we have released are two quality people who will still remain part of the larger GB squad working towards our 2016 target."
"Jenaya and Chantelle will remain on our radar and I will work with them over the next 12 months so that they can continue to challenge for a position on the GB team."
Chantelle Pressley said, "This has been my first GB camp and now I am aware of the high standards and the requirements in order to succeed. I am relatively young so I do appreciate the opportunity, but I plan on working on my game over the next 12 months to come back a better GB player."
Subsequent to the cut, training numbers have been boosted today with the arrival of Temi Fagbenle following a successful college season with Harvard University. She will practice today and travel with the team to Pomezia, Rome for the two international tests this weekend, which form part of the build-up to next month's EuroBasket Women qualifiers. With Dominique Allen and Rachel Vanderwal not set to join camp until next week, GB will take 12 players to Pomezia for the games.
Following this weekend's games, the players and staff will return to camp in Worcester on Monday, 19 May where they will be joined by Allen and Vanderwal in advance of practice and home preparation games against Germany on Saturday, 24 May and Sunday 25 May.
The games will be staged behind closed doors to the public but regular updates will be available online via British Basketball's website and social media.
GB squad for Italy preparation games:Ella Clark, Stef Collins, Temi Fagbenle, Steph Gandy, Nicole How, Erin McGarrachan, Helen Naylor, Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby, Kathryn Rendell, Eilidh Simpson, Azania Stewart and Lauren Thomas-Johnson
The Great Britain senior women will appear at a third successive EuroBasket Women Final Round next summer and that makes for a very important 2014-15 club and college season for those candidates wanting to be on the plane to Hungary and Romania.
We caught up for a Q & A session with point guard Luke Nelson as he embarks on his second season with University of California, Irvine and having helped the under-20 team to their highest ever finish this past summer.