GB Trials put players through their paces
Tue 14 Mar 2017
Around 25 female players ranging in age from 15 through 33, plus half a dozen GB National Fastpitch Team coaches, turned up at Skinners Academy in Finsbury Park on Sunday 26 February to take part in trials for this year’s GB Women, GB Under-19 Women and GB Under-16 Girls’ teams.
During the trials, the players took part in tests to determine times for running, bat speed and throwing, as well as fielding and hitting drills.
At the start of the session, GB Women and Under-19 Head Coach Rachael Watkeys told the players, “This is a trial, not a training session, so there will probably be a lot more standing around than if we were training. But today is all about testing what you can do.”
Selections for the three teams – which will include overseas-based players as well as those who live in Britain – will be made over the course of the next few weeks.
Overseas-based players have been required to submit the results of the same kinds of physical tests, along with playing statistics and videos that will allow the coaches to make as accurate an assessment of their abilities as possible.
This is an important year for GB Fastpitch Softball, with all of our national fastpitch teams likely to be playing in official European or World Championships or Cups in 2017.
But for GB female fastpitch teams, from Seniors through Under-16s, the focus is very much on a Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier coming up in 2019, and then the Olympics themselves, if we can qualify, in 2020.
This is a goal for every player in those GB programmes, and so trials and selections have taken on an added significance.
In recognition of that, the GB Management Committee, which oversees and supports our national team programmes, has decided that experienced External Selectors will join team coaches this year for the very first time in making selection decisions.
For the players who took part at Skinners Academy on 26 February, the next few weeks could be a nervous time!
Photos by Trevor Greenaway-Clissold