New Canterbury Ladies coach Jen Wilson finalising her squad ahead of new National Premier Division season
New Canterbury Ladies coach Jen Wilson is putting the final touches to the squad who will take on last year’s play-off conquerors Reading in their opening National Premier Division game on September 14.
Wilson has brought in Scottish internationals Nikki Lloyd and Nikki Kidd – currently at the EuroHockey Championships in Belgium – to bolster her squad, which will be without GB international Susannah Townsend after she chose to switch to Reading.
Kidd (pictured) scored for Scotland against England on Tuesday in a 2-1 defeat.
Wilson has also boosted her goalkeeping options with the addition of former England youth keeper Helen Fagg from Chelmsford.
Fagg joins last season’s custodians Becca Smith and Aurora Mears at Polo Farm, while under-18 stoppers Scarlett Pugh and Alice Trill are also pushing for selection.
Wilson said: “We have five talented goalkeepers in pre-season and it’s healthy to have that competition for places.
“Becca and Aurora did a good job for us last season but Helen comes highly recommended. Everyone will have the chance to show what they can do in pre-season.”
Wilson has also added 21-year-old American midfielder Kim Young, who has completed her studies at the University of Massachusetts, while Lucy Barnes returns after a long break after having her second child while wife of men’s coach Kwan Browne, Curlyne, has returned to training following a knee injury.
Wilson said: “I watched a video of Kim and she looks like she will be a big player for us. Lucy and Colleen have both been back for pre-season and have been doing well.”
Canterbury and GB defender Nat Seymour remains focused on triathlon but Wilson said: “She has been back to the club and remains supportive. She says she couldn’t play for another club and she’s always welcome back here but for now, her triathlon is going fantastically well.”
Wilson herself has battled a back problem for the past 18 months but hopes she will be fit to play a part in the season.
She said: “I am keen to get back to playing this season, although whether it is before Christmas or after I don’t know. I am running upright again but I want to have a solid foundation of fitness under me before I return to hockey.”
Lucy Hyams, Eliza Brett, Dom Masters and Charlotte Pape have all departed for university while Sarah Kerly will complete her Masters in the US this year but Wilson said: “We have lost a lot of players but we’ve brought in some real quality and in some areas we’re stronger.
“We have a talented group of under-16 and under-18s and the players we have brought in will add balance to what we do.
“We can’t wait to get started.”
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