GB Under-13s look to learn in Italy

Wed 9 Aug 2017

By Julie Spittle, Team Manager

The GB Under-13 Team, playing as the London Cubs, travelled to Collecchio, Italy on Tuesday 8 August for the ESF’s annual Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy after an intensive search for players.

The team had originally planned to enter a different tournament this year – the European Little League Championship in July in the Netherlands -- but had to change plans after not enough players were available. It then became a struggle to find enough players for Italy, as holiday plans for August had already been set by players who would potentially have been able to come.

So we have taken a young squad of just nine players, with only three of them having played in this tournament before.  But we have been able to pick up two local players from Collecchio so that our players can rest and we have substitutes if needed.

Training​

We held trials alongside the GB U-16s in early May and we have been training every week with the girls since the beginning of June, but we had to do more recruitment after our tournament plans changed.

We scouted far and wide for players, picking up girls showing basic skills and enthusiasm to learn from Chichester and Manchester as well as from around London and through our main supporting organization, LondonSports.

The girls have been working very hard to improve their skills, understanding and knowledge of the game, practising infield drills, bunting, baserunning, leading off and stealing.  For many of the girls there was a lot to learn in a short space of time.

Our aim for the tournament is to improve the players’ skills and get them working together as a team, and for the girls to enjoy their experience playing fastpitch softball.  For most of the team, the Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy will be their first experience of competitive fastpitch play.


The team

The 2017 London Cubs team is:

Matilde Crapanzano
Annabelle Erlandson
Madison Gledhill
Casey Johnston
Megan Longman
Amy Morris
Jessie Peters
Shinju Phalon
Cordelia Stevens

Plus two guest players from Collecchio:

Alessandra Marmo
Valentina Foriani

The staff is:

Team Manager: Julie Spittle:
Assistant Manager: Sarah Rushin
Head Coach: Jodie Rushin
Assistant Coaches: Elysee La Porte and Jasmine Rushin

The tournament​

The four-day Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy first began in 2012 as the successor to the European Under-13 Championship, and this year has attracted its largest-ever entry of 13 teams.

This includes four teams from the Czech Republic, two each from Italy, Russia and Croatia and one each from Great Britain, Spain and Turkey.

The tournament has been divided into a Sport Division with the six most experienced teams and a seven-team Futures Division, including the London Cubs.  Both divisions will play a round-robin over the first three days of the tournament, with playoffs on Saturday.

The Cubs will play two games against Czech opponents when the tournament begins on Wednesday 9 August – against Joudrs Navy at 3.30 pm Italian time and against SC Merklin at 7.30 pm.

On Thursday the team will face Moscow 2 and the Spanish team Selec. Catalana and there will be two more pool games on Friday, against Turkey and Panthers Zagreb from Croatia.

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