Guernsey Press

Island Games women's basketball squad named and 'feeling confident'

Selecting just 12 players for the home Island Games women’s basketball squad proved ‘incredibly tough’.

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Ravenscroft's Sammie Cox is one of two debutantes in the Guernsey women's squad for the Island Games. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32094101)

That is according to long-term women’s coach Pat Ogier, who has revealed a strong and experienced final squad for both the summertime spectacle and Saturday’s inter-insular.

Twenty years on from featuring in the golden squad of the last home Games, Emma Webb makes her return, co-captaining a team brimming with experience.

Conversely, there are two promising debutantes in Emilie Batiste and Sammie Cox.

But regrettably, selectors had to cut four very capable players – namely Donna Brehaut, Hayley McInnes, Jess Regnard and Erin Ogier.

‘We had a squad of 16 and all of them contributed massively in training and games so it was hard to leave four of them out, but unfortunately we can only select 12 and these are the ones that we have entrusted to secure a medal at Guernsey 2023,’ Ogier said.

The overall roster trades height for versatility to play the game quicker, which Ogier knows has worked previously.

He also knows the significance of a big result on home soil.

‘Ultimately it comes down to performances on the day, but we know we have a good squad and we are feeling confident,’ he added.

‘I think for a lot of these players it could be their last Games as we are led to believe that there won’t be a basketball competition in the next Games, possibly the next two, so they want to add to their legacy before they hang up their boots – and what better way to do that than to win a medal in your home island?’

Menorca go in as reigning champions, while Isle of Man could provide challenging opposition from the early stages, having been drawn into the same group as Guernsey.

Ogier hopes they can reverse their disappointing loss to Isle of Man at the last Games to get the week off to a good start.

‘We are looking forward to the challenge and with home support behind us, you can never underestimate the lift that can provide,’ he said.

‘We have to be confident of doing well – a medal is certainly achievable and, in some eyes, expected.

‘We have a strong history in the competition, medalling five times including gold in Guernsey 2003, so we have the experience and knowledge to perform in these big competitions.’

Highlighting the value of the crowd support, he added: ‘It would be amazing to see both Guernsey teams on the podium at the end of the week and give the supporters something to really cheer about.’

Guernsey Women’s squad

Emma Webb (co-captain), Emma Hicks (co-captain), Gemma Batiste, Sammie Cox, Rochelle Mullen, Emilie Batiste, Tia Barnett, Katie Cochrane, Ieva Babina, Bonnie Le Noury, Emma Sykes, Kerri Brown.