BIRKENHEAD-based Oxton Women’s Lacrosse team are preparing for the new season without some key players as an incredible nine of their first teamers are hunting for places in World Cup sides in 2013.
The current European Club Champions boast two Scotland international players, two for Wales and as many as five for England, who are currently touring the US in a bid to make the cut from a squad of 25.
The Oxton Sports Club team, formerly known as Wirral Women’s Lacrosse, arrived home from Prague in September having retained their European Championship from the previous year. This added to their two consecutive North of England Women’s Lacrosse League trophies, the second of which they remained unbeaten for the entire season.
Coach, Alison Dunn, believes that being without such important players for the start of their season is just a result of a good framework of coaching.
Alison, a former England international herself, said: “We’re a victim of our own success really. We’ve been so successful because we have a very good junior development programme in place. But, as far as these girls go, I don’t feel under pressure because they give so much and I have confidence and belief in them.”
Alison, 51, gives up what she said was ‘hours of every day’, despite that her nose was broken by a stray ball from one of her Oxton first-teamers. Twice.
Club captain Carina Walsh, who plays for Wales, added praise for the coaching staff and said: “We didn’t join the club as international players, we’ve been made into internationals.”
Carina, whose teammates called their ‘inspirational captain’, explained the level of devotion that particularly the players headed for the World Cup must give.
She explained: “It’s completely self-funded. So if we did both tours that are arranged and the World Cup, plus our training, it would cost us at least five thousand pounds each. We must be mad!”
With the youngest first team player, Emily Kealey, being just 16-years-old, the Oxton first team said that more people should get involved in lacrosse because ‘It’s fast, skilful, fun and addictive and it’s a great spectator sport.’