The newest Cardiff Met Archers have been revealed, with 12 players set to feature for Cardiff Met in the first season of British Wheelchair Basketball’s new elite tournament, the Women’s Premier League (WPL).
Four of the players are currently attending Cardiff Met, with eight of the 12-player roster having represented Wales and 10 in total with some form of junior or senior GB experience.
Katie Morrow and Leah Evans headline the announcements, having both been part of GB's squad for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. Sisters Jade and Adele Atkin join forces in Cardiff, with the siblings also on the GB pathway. Welsh international and GB junior Anastasia Blease is one of four North Wales Knights to have joined the Archers, alongside Francesca 'Fizz' Antoniazzi, Rebecca Ganley, and Bethany Francis. Francis and Ganley are also studying at Cardiff Met, alongside Jade Atkin and former Wakefield Whirlwind Niamh Watson.
Maddie Martin is the third Portsmouth-based star to sign for the Archers, with Berkhamstead and Aces' Ella Beaumont also in the roster. West Walian Libi Phillips is the youngest player on the squad, and youngest in the league, and will take the #8 jersey.
Rosie Williams and Tom Guntrip have previously been announced as co-coaches of the Women’s Premier League side, with Williams’ experience in the game and with the GB programme, and Guntrip’s time in the running game, both at domestic and international level, helping to build an experienced staff with a joint philosophy focused on athlete-empowerment.
"We're so excited to have this squad together. I've known many of these players for a number of years, and they have consistently shown their ability and work ethic and I'm very proud they are now part of the Archer Family," said Williams. "I'm honoured to be in the role at Cardiff Met Archers and to be playing a part in this exciting new league."
"We've got such a range of promising youths to experienced veterans, and we can't wait to see how they mesh together on and off the court," added Guntrip. "I'm really looking forward to seeing how they compete against some of GB's best and brightest, and how they represent Cardiff Met, the city of Cardiff, and Wales as a whole, on the biggest domestic stage."
One of four High Performance Programmes (HPP), Cardiff Met’s new WPL side takes the number of squads at the Cyncoed-based Club to 24, making it comfortably the largest basketball club in Wales.
The other three HPP and WPL sides are based at Worcester, Loughborough, and University of East London, with a host of GB internationals at all four sides.
The Archers season gets underway on January 28th, away at East London Phoenix, before home games against Worcester Wolves (12th Feb @ 3.15pm), Loughborough Lightning (26th Feb @ 1pm), East London Phoenix (19th March @ 1pm), and Worcester Wolves (9th April @ 1pm).