British women ‘excited and ready’ for European Championships challenge

Great Britain’s U19s women are ‘excited and ready for the challenge’ of this summer’s European Championships – which will be a ‘pivotal’ tournament for their development.

A squad of 13 has been selected for the tournament, which takes place in Netanya, Israel, between 4-11 July.

It is the first and only major event for the U19s women’s team due to the coronavirus pandemic – and head coach Simon Tomlinson says it will provide a ‘unique opportunity for the ‘focused’ squad.

He said: “Opportunities to play matches has been limited with the girls only having played together a handful of times.

“The focus of this tournament has to be improving on the placing of last years u17s, being competitive in all matches whilst gaining invaluable tournament play so this talented squad can make that important transition to senior ladies water polo.

“This tournament is pivotal for the overall development of ladies water polo.

“Rachel Tibke has been selected as the captain and she is a great defensive midfielder who works hard for the whole team. 

Unique opportunity

“I’m confident she will be able to lead by example and bring the best out of the team both in and out of the water.

“The attack will be led by Catherine Du Toit at CF with some of the national league’s top performers in Holly Toone, Harriett Dickens and Emily Crossley, also bringing in the fire power

“The defence will be led by our goalkeepers, Grace Kaye & Maddie Calthrop, working with Lucy Bullock and Nyah Tomlinson at CB.

“For speed and endurance, we have selected our utility players, Caitlin Silk, Kelsy Evans, Matilda Dugdale and Pippa Danielson. 

“I am confident that they will create movement and find opportunities to score goals.

“Travelling to Israel is going to provide a unique opportunity to these girls, who have worked really hard to maintain their fitness and focus during a challenging couple of years, not forgetting the huge support from parents both financially and emotionally. 

“We are excited and ready for the challenge.”

The full GB squad for the Women’s U19s European Championships

  • Lucy Bullock (Otter)
  • Maddie Calthrop (Mid Sussex Marlins / Worthing WPC)
  • Emily Crossley (Rotherham Metro WPC)
  • Pippa Danielson (Otter / Croydon Amphibians)
  • Harriet Dickens (City of Manchester / Bolton School)
  • Catherine Du Toit (London Penguin)
  • Matilda Dugdale (Red Star Belgrade)
  • Kelsy Evans (Tyldesley)
  • Grace Kaye (City of Sheffield / Rotherham Metro)
  • Rachel Tibke (City of Liverpool)
  • Nyah Tomlinson (Exeter & Taunton)
  • Holly Toone (Tyldesley)
  • Caitlin Silk (Worthing WPC)
  • Head coach: Simon Tomlinson
  • Assistant coach: Katy Cutler
  • Team manager: Vicki Dickens