Following further discussions and consideration of our options with participation in the Female CEP European Espoirs Championships 2019, we are pleased to announce that we have found a solution that the PE Board is able to support.
In addition to the previously selected players – Rachel Kelly, Alex Spillett and Megan Winter, we have been able to identify a fourth player, Grace Moss to complete the team. This means that we can now meet an established team playing principle which has been enshrined in our approach to participation in CEP & FIPJP Championships for many years.
We adopted the principle of always competing as a team of four for good reasons and based on direct experience of high-level tournaments when in the past we only sent three players. We firmly believe that unless we operate as a team of four, we severely undermine our competitiveness by removing the ability to respond to tactical playing considerations as well as other factors experienced at elite level relating to tiredness, sickness or injury. We have encountered all of these factors over recent years when competing at elite level and having a team of four has been crucial. We place our teams at competitive risk along with the substantial sums of our members’ money that are involved (several thousands of pounds) otherwise.
This means that we will now be sending a male and female team to compete in the Championships in France in early October. We know that having the two teams together brings great mutual support and a ‘squad ethos’ which has served us very well in the past. We also know that our players and coaches prosper in such conditions.
We would like to thank our coaches and others who put our sport first that have worked to try and resolve a difficult issue and find a positive outcome.
It is now important that our teams and coaches are given the time and space to focus on the preparation for the Championships. We wish them every success in that.