2021-22 saw most club basketball return across the spectrum after the ‘elite-only’ restrictions in 2020-21, and international basketball was no different.
We’re used to seeing plenty of Archers represent their countries, with our junior athletes leading the way and plenty of WBBL and National League Men’s players also receiving call-ups.
This year saw a total of 22 Archers represent Wales at Senior level, with Issy Bunyan and Carys Roy going on to represent GB at U18s level multiple times, and in addition, Sarah Wagstaff and Ruth Murphy-Thomas played for GB at the Maxiball Masters tournament. Jon Bunyan continued the family tradition, also representing GB at the same tournament. Out of the 16 players selected to play for Wales at the 3×3 Commonwealth Games qualifiers across wheelchair and running, 11 were Archers, and a former Archer academy players also featured.
At Junior level, 31 Archers played for Wales at a variety of tournaments. There were 5 former Archers also involved at Senior and Junior level, in both formats of the game.
There were also plenty of staff members across the international set-ups representing the Archers, with 9 Archers taking on roles, including work with GB at European Championships, World Cups, and even Head Coaching Wheelchair Rugby at the Invictus Games!
Last, but not least, we also had 6 Archers officiating across the international spectrum, showcasing their talents at the highest level alongside the players on court.
What an incredible year for the #ArcherFamily and the SEVENTY-TWO international representatives – take a look through as we give a complete account of everything INTERNATIONAL ARCHERS from 2021-22…
September 7th, 2021
– Wales 82-116 USA Select
Before the domestic season had gotten underway, we had our largest number of Archers involved in one event, with the annual Wales vs USA Select game held at Sport Wales. With seven Archers from the 2021-22 NBL D2 Men’s team on the roster, and former two former Archers also in the 12-man roster, it was already a big cause for celebration. We also had four Archers officiating, and three on the coaching staff, including Tom Guntrip, who made his international debut as a Head Coach in an entertaining and impressive display from the Wales team.
Guntrip said, “It was a huge honour to be named Head Coach of Wales for the first team. To have the national anthem playing, my friends and family in the crowd and in the game with me, and to have a memorable and positive occasion that helped generate interest in the game in Wales, means that this game will always be memorable to me.”
- 2021-22 Archers playing: James Dawe, Eli Andam, Jake Kinder, Sol Minty-Walker, Ioan Nickson, Lennie Norris, Tom Nightingale
- 2021-22 Archers coaching: Tom Guntrip (HC), Stefan Rosier (AC), Azeb Smalley (AC)
- 2021-22 Archers officiating: Dan Cox (Referee), Duncan Mackenzie (Stats Input), Rhys Mackenzie (Stats Spotter), Beth Jones (24 Second Shot Clock Operator)
- Former Archers involved: Alex Koukouravas and Paul Farrelly
September 17th – 18th, 2021
– Wales 70-87 Surrey Scorchers, Wales 60-95 Plymouth City Patriots
Invited to help two BBL teams prepare for their season ahead, a Welsh national team gave Surrey Scorchers a bit of a fright as they went on a 15-0 fourth quarter run to reduce the Scorchers’ lead to seven with only minutes to play, before eventually falling short as the professional status that separates the sides came into play. A new-look Patriots team, including Wales’ own Isaiah Walker, had enough size to see off Wales as fatigue kicked in and players’ were given an opportunity to experience playing at the highest level.
- 2021-22 Archers playing: James Dawe, Eli Andam, Jake Kinder, Ioan Nickson, Lennie Norris, Tom Nightingale
- 2021-22 Archers coaching: Tom Guntrip (AC)
- Former Archers involved: Alex Koukouravas and Paul Farrelly
December 4th – December 12th 2021
– GB win SILVER medal at European Championships
A new addition to the Archers programme this season saw the introduction of a Women’s Premier League team, as part of British Wheelchair Basketball’s drive to help prepare their athletes better for international competition. Jade Atkin joined Cardiff Met University in September 2021, as a fresher, and after narrowly missing out on a call-up to the Tokyo Paralympics she made her GB debut in late 2021.
Part of the squad that went for a pre-tournament camp in Netherlands, Jade then started in GB’s first game of the tournament, and scored the opening points of the whole Championships, finishing with 9 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes of action. One of the youngest members of the team, Jade finished the tournament with an average of 8.2 points per game in just 13.3 minutes of action, adding 3.5 rebounds as the team collected a silver medal in very difficult circumstances in Madrid. She top-scored against Turkey with 20 points on an impressive 10/12 shooting from the field.
Rosie Williams and Tom Guntrip, newly appointed as Co-Head Coaches of the WPL team and Head Coaches of the wheelchair basketball High Performance Programme, both assisted GB in their journey to a spot in the World Championships. Rosie was Team Manager during the trip to Papendaal, Netherlands, before the Championships, with Tom acting as a Performance Analyst Intern out in Madrid at the tournament.
- November 2021
- GB vs Netherlands
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Jade Atkin
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Rosie Williams (TM)
- December 4th – December 12th 2021
- GB win SILVER medal
- vs France (85-16 win), vs Turkey (78-12 win), vs Netherlands (44-74 loss), vs Spain (52-56 loss), vs Germany (53-40 win), vs Germany (58-51 win Semi-Final), final not played
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Jade Atkin
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Tom Guntrip (PA)
January 9th, 2022
– Plymouth City Patriots 113-66 Team Basketball Wales
In January, a Wales side played their 3rd game in the BBL Trophy, taking on Plymouth City Patriots after previously losing in Glasgow, and taking a heavy defeat from the most expensive British team of all time, London City Royals, in Archers Arena.
Wales had two of our Men’s coaching staff on the coaching staff, Tom Guntrip and Stefan Rosier, with a further five 2021-22 Archers playing and two former Archers also making the 12, with Covid-19 especially playing havoc with roster creation, as well as the classic combo of ‘injury and illness’.
Pete Walker in particular impressed as one the youngest player in the team, featuring alongside his U18s and NBL D2 Men Head Coach James Dawe.
- 2021-22 Archers playing: James Dawe, Sol Minty-Walker, Jake Kinder, Pete Walker
- 2021-22 Archers coaching: Tom Guntrip (AC), Stefan Rosier (AC)
- Former Archers involved: Paul Farrelly, Ben Woog
April 6th, 2022 – running basketball CWG 3×3 qualifiers
– Wales Men – 13-21 loss to Scotland, 14-21 loss to Northern Ireland
– Wales Women – 10-14 loss to Northern Ireland, 4-21 loss to Scotland
Wales made their 3×3 debuts in Largs, Scotland, as three Home Nations squared off for a chance to join England in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games 3×3 Basketball. Scotland’s host of professional basketball players across both men’s and women’s games was enough to see off the six current Archers involved, but the experience gained at the highest level was invaluable as Wales looks to build a 3×3 programme going forward.
James Dawe, Wales captain and Archers legend, said, “It is always a great honour to represent Wales. The 3×3 in Scotland was special as it was our first official international competition in some time and there was a place in the Commonwealth Games up for grabs. Although we did not get the results we hoped for, it was an incredible experience against some great players in front of an awesome crowd.
“I was especially proud to be alongside Eli Andam, who has been with Cardiff Archers since his junior days and has worked very hard to get to the level he is today.”
- 2021-22 Archers playing: James Dawe, Eli Andam; Kim Kheing, Laura Shanahan, Issy Bunyan, Carys Roy
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Tom Guntrip (AC-M), Azeb Smalley (AC-M), Rhian Mackenzie (Team Manager)
- Former Archers involved: Ben Woog
April 13th, 2022 – wheelchair basketball CWG 3×3 qualifiers
– Wales Men – 7-18 loss to Scotland, 5-15 loss to Northern Ireland
– Wales Women – 4-21 loss, 3-17 loss, 0-21 loss to Scotland
For the first time ever, Wheelchair Basketball was going to feature at the Commonwealth Games, with the whole Wales Women’s team coming from our new WPL side.
Facing off in what was effectively a Loughborough vs Archers match-up, the GB experience of Robyn Love and Jude Hamer shown through against Wales’ youth, but their consistent effort and desire showed that the future of Wheelchair Basketball is very bright in Wales.
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Rebecca Ganley, Bethany Francis, Ana Blease, Libi Phillips, Ben Johnson-Rolfe
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Caroline Matthews (HC-M), Mike Hayes (HC-W)
- Both Caroline and Mike assisted with coaching sessions and providing experience, knowledge, and assistance when needed by our WPL coaching staff
- Former Archers involved: Dan May
April 13th-14th, 2022 – U18 Four Nations
Wales Men – 2 wins, 1 loss
77-58 win vs Ireland
59-58 win vs Scotland
53-74 loss vs England
Wales Women – 2 wins, 1 loss
67-61 win vs Ireland
85-54 win vs Scotland
79-72 loss vs England
Archers Arena played host to an incredible two days of elite junior basketball as the Four Nations returned in style.
The men’s team snuck a close win against Ireland before taking down Scotland, and were up by seven after the first stanza against England before the cross-Severn rivals stepped up with their size and physicality to get the job done.
The women’s team entertained and put on a show, winning their first two games with ease before taking England right down to the wire, falling just short despite the best efforts of our very own Issy Bunyan and Carys Roy, who after a series of incredible NBL and WBBL performances showed they can compete with the best of the best at junior level in the UK and booked themselves a space in the GB U18 Women’s team.
Azeb Smalley, U18 Women’s Head Coach, said, “This year has been a fantastic year. The Wales U19 girls put on a fantastic display at the Four Nations beating Ireland, Scotland and within an inch of England.
The team culture was phenomenal, which wouldn’t have been what it was without the assistant coaches Beth Jones, Angelia Marazzi and Mara Marchizotti. I’ve never been more proud to head coach a group of young people.”
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Issy Bunyan, Carys Roy, Maisie Harrhy, Neva Hughes, Candice Luceau, Abbi Morris, Funmi Oduwaiye; Lucas Scotland, Pete Walker, Sol Minty-Walker, Juan Roderick
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Azeb Smalley (HC-W), Beth Jones (AC-W), Angelina Marazzi (AC-W), Mara Marchizotti (AC-W)
- Former Archers involved: Kate Davies
– Gwynne Walker and Rosie Williams – Wheelchair Basketball medallists
Gwynne Walker, former Army engineer, and Rosie Williams, WPL Co-Head Coach, headed to The Hague to take part in the Invictus Games, a sporting celebration for former servicemen and servicewomen across the globe.
Gwynne told Rosie and Archers Basketball about his story here and came away from the Invictus Games with a bronze medal.
Rosie also ended up coaching Wheelchair Rugby, coming away with a silver medal after she stepped up to help the coaching staff after illness threatened to derail the tournament for the UK side.
Ahead of the games, Gwynne Walker said, “It’s safe to say the Invictus programme has saved my life.
“I was in a very dark and painful place before I took the leap and joined the Invictus family. The power of sports recovery is undeniable and the amazing people that volunteer to make it happen are the most incredible, selfless people without any want for themselves except to help others.
“This is the best thing I have ever been a part of and I cant wait to continue my journey with Archers once my Invictus journey ends and hopefully inspire others who are in a similar place to where I was take the leap and get back on track to happy life.”
May 6th-8th, 2022 – U16 Four Nations
- Wales Boys – 3 losses
- Wales Girls – 3 losses
May 13th-15th, 2022 – U14 Tri Nations
- Wales Boys – 6 losses
- Wales Girls – 3 losses
May 27th-29th, 2022 – U15 Test Series
- Wales Boys – 1 win, 2 losses
- 71-67 win vs Scotland
The return of junior international basketball across the age groups saw six more Wales teams head north to Scotland to compete against their Celtic colleagues in a variety of tournaments. An incredible 21 Archers represented their country during this period, a reflection on the incredible work our amazing junior coaching staff do.
Sarah Wagstaff, Head of Basketball, was full of praise for her junior programme coaches, stating, “Our junior coaches put in so much throughout the season, giving up their time after work or university, giving up their weekends, going straight from coaching to playing, or training to coaching, and the work they put in is reflected in the standards they produce.
“The junior players see that hard work, and they reflect it in their own hard work, and we are so proud of the 21 Archers who played in these tournaments, not including the amazing achievements at the U18 tournament and senior levels. The sky is the limit for some of these young Archers and we are excited to see their futures.”
- 2021-22 Archers playing:
- U16 Boys – Joe Moreau, Mason Holl
- U16 Girls – Harriet Grant, Isabella Tang, Lily Parkin, Nadia Ghonim, Nansi Thomas
- U15 Boys – Finn Griffiths, Sam Lewis-Babb, Curtis Walters
- U14 Boys – Jack Bamborough, Will Bamborough, Ethan Benningwood, James Grant, Shae Hughes, Gabriel Navarro, Elray Ramos, Rudi Ewart, Osian Howells
- U14 Girls – Eliya Duckers, Emily Fulford
- Former Archers involved: Rob Godber, Thomas Hole (both on coaching staff)
June 4th-5th, 2022
– 69-91 loss to Loughborough Riders
– 72-74 loss to GB Maxis 35+
A tough defeat to Loughborough on the opening day of the summer friendly tournament that saw the D1 side establish an early lead before Wales won the third quarter and tied the fourth.
On day two, the star-studded M35+ team that eventually came runners up in the FIMBA Masters Malaga tournament faced off against Wales, winning at the buzzer to take home the victory as Wales put in a much improved showing.
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Lucas Scotland, Jake Kinder, James Dawe, Eli Andam, Ioan Nickson
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Azeb Smalley (AC)
- Former Archers involved: Alex Koukouravas, Ben Woog
June 16th – 21st, 2022
Wales international series vs Gibraltar
- Gibraltar U23 61-55 Wales U23
- Gibraltar Seniors 76-55 Wales Seniors
- Gibraltar U23 64-79 Wales U23
- Gibraltar U18 49-65 Wales U23
- Gibraltar Seniors 86-54 Wales Seniors
Wales played their first 5v5 internationals for four years as they travelled to Gibraltar for a series of U23 and Senior fixtures. Late withdrawals and injuries meant that the squad combined for the trip, with half of the travelling 12 U23, making it one of the youngest senior sides selected in recent years.
Tom Guntrip, stepping up to Head Coach in the absence of the ill James Bamfield, said, “The lads gave a great account of themselves on the trip. They were fantastic tourists, throwing themselves into everything a basketball trip should be. Guys who had never met before bonded well, and they gave everything on court for their country.
“To come away with the first two international wins at senior level in the last six years showed the progress of the programme, and to compete against a physically dominant Gibraltar team with our young players shows the promise in it too. An exciting time ahead of Welsh basketball!”
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Jamal Brownbill, Jake Kinder, Tom Nightingale, Eli Andam, Cohen Goddard, Brad Payne
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Tom Guntrip (HC)
- Former Archers involved: Alex Koukouravas
June 24th – July 4th, 2022
– F35+ win GOLD
– F45+ come fourth
– M50+ finish 9th
The Archers basketball pathway never stops, as the Masters’ Basketball tournament in Malaga kicked off in June 2022, with teams from across Europe, ranging from ages 35+ to 75+, in male and female categories up and down the age ranges.
The women’s 35+ team took home GB’s first ever Maxibasketball gold medal, taking down Estonia, with Maxibasketball now recognised as an official part of the all the Home Nations Talent Pathways.
Sarah Wagstaff, gold-medal winner with the F35+ team, said, “I feel so thankful to have represented GB as a player and so glad that at my age the opportunity is there to do so. Having played against so many of my GB team mates in the WBBL it really was a pleasure to suit up alongside them and come away with a European Gold. Never stop playing!!
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Sarah Wagstaff (F35+), Ruth Murphy-Thomas (F45+), Jon Bunyan (M50+)
July 28th – August 8th, 2022
– Jade Atkin wins BRONZE
– Stef Collins brings home her second SILVER medal!
A Commonwealth Games on home soil is always a special occasion, and 2022 was no different as 3×3 basketball made it’s CWG debut.
4 years after she won silver playing for England on the Gold Coast, Stef Collins was back in action as the coach of England’s 3×3 Women’s team, featuring some of her former GB teammates and WBBL opposition.
Ahead of the tournament, Collins coached in multiple series around Europe, heading to Romania for the EuroCup qualifiers, to Serbia and France for more training camps and 3×3 tournaments, before a final camp at our very own Archers Arena, where the team was delighted with the standard of facilities and support available.
Her England team did themselves proud, reaching the final and just losing out as Canada hit a layup right at the buzzer, but Collins’ crew was part of what will hopefully be the start of a revolution for basketball in the UK, helping elevate it to the level that the participants deserve.
Collins said, “To win a second silver medal at the Commonwealth Games makes me feel very proud and privileged to have had these opportunities, and the team were fantastic right throughout the process. Hopefully across England, Wales, and Scotland, and the wider basketball community, we can utilise the power of 3×3 and CWG success, and inspire young girls and boys to take up the game of basketball and drive our participation and performance programmes forward.”
Jade Atkin was new to the Archer Family this year, and she hit the ground with a speed never seen before. Fresher of the Year, European Championship silver medallist, and now part of the first ever England 3×3 squad, teaming up with East London Phoenix’s Amy Conroy, University of Alabama’s Joy Haizelden, and Mideba’s Charlotte Moore.
Jade got off to a strong start, scoring 6 points in the 20-1 win vs Kenya, collecting 7 rebounds as well is just under seven minutes of action. She played only 4 minutes, 50 seconds across the next two games against Canada and Australia as England lost both, going 1/1 in each game and adding a block and three rebounds against Australia in the 8-6 Semi-Final loss. The Scotland team, comprised of four Loughborough Lightning WPL stars, awaited England in the bronze medal match, and the south of the border stars got it done, winning 12-10, with Jade adding 3 points and 2 rebounds in 3:33 of action.
- 2021-22 Archers playing: Jade Atkin
- 2021-22 Archers on staff: Stef Collins (HC-W)
– Issy and Carys go on a European tour, and Carys goes viral
What a summer for Issy Bunyan and Carys Roy.
GB U18s. U18 3×3 World Cup. Famous GIFs. Big stat lines.
Selected for the GB longlist, they both performed well enough to make the 12-player roster for the FIBA U18 Women Division B championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Finishing 2nd and 4th in minutes played respectively, both players made themselves key parts of the rotation.
Against Croatia, Issy scored 18 points, added 11 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots. She had 6 steals against Luxembourg, and ended up with an all-round stat-stuffing box score for the tournament.
Carys had 12 points and 9 rebounds against Macedonia, 12 rebounds against Croatia, and 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals against Estonia.
|Players||G||Min||O Rebs||D Rebs||Total Rebs||Assists||Steal||Blocks||Pts|
Along with Archers coach Azeb Smalley as team leader, both players were selected to represent GB U18 Women at the 3×3 World Cup in Hungary.
The team beat Brazil after improving performances across the tournament, taking down the ‘Samba Nation’ 13-8, which lead to the creation of what will hopefully become the greatest GIF of all time…
Full list (players, staff, coaches, officials – including all seniors, juniors, alumni):
|Jade||Atkin||GB Wheelchair Women, England Wheelchair Women|
|Jack||Bamborough||Wales U14 Boys|
|Will||Bamborough||Wales U14 Boys|
|Ethan||Benningwood||Wales U14 Boys|
|Ana||Blease||Wales Women Wheelchair|
|Issy||Bunyan||Wales Women, GB U18 Women, Wales U19 Women, GB U18 3×3 Women|
|Stef||Collins||England Women Coach|
|Kate||Davies||Wales U19 Women|
|Eliya||Duckers||Wales U14 Girls|
|Rudi||Ewart||Wales U14 Boys|
|Bethany||Francis||Wales Women Wheelchair|
|Emily||Fulford||Wales U14 Girls|
|Rebecca||Ganley||Wales Women Wheelchair|
|Nadia||Ghonim||Wales U16 Girls|
|Rob||Godber||Wales U16 Coach|
|James||Grant||Wales U14 Boys|
|Harriet||Grant||Wales U16 Girls|
|Finn||Griffiths||Wales U14 Boys|
|Tom||Guntrip||Wales Men Coach, Official|
|Maisie||Harrhy||Wales U19 Women|
|Thomas||Hole||Wales U16 Coach|
|Mason||Holl||Wales U16 Boys|
|Osian||Howells||Wales U14 Boys|
|Shae||Hughes||Wales U14 Boys|
|Neva||Hughes||Wales U19 Women|
|Ben||Johnson-Rolfe||Wales Men Wheelchair|
|Beth||Jones||Wales Women Coach, Official|
|Sam||Lewis-Babb||Wales U15 Boys|
|Candice||Luceau||Wales U19 Women|
|Angelina||Marazzi||Wales Women Coach|
|Mara||Marchizotti||Wales Women Coach|
|Caroline||Matthews||Wales Men Wheelchair Coach|
|Dan||May||Wales Men Wheelchair|
|Sol||Minty-Walker||Wales Men, Wales U19 Men|
|Joe||Moreau||Wales U16 Boys|
|Abbi||Morris||Wales U19 Women|
|Gabriel||Navarro||Wales U14 Boys|
|Funmi||Oduwaiye||Wales U19 Women|
|Lily||Parkin||Wales U16 Girls|
|Libi||Phillips||Wales Women Wheelchair|
|Elray||Ramos||Wales U14 Boys|
|Juan||Roderick||Wales U19 Men|
|Stefan||Rosier||Wales Men Coach|
|Carys||Roy||Wales Women, GB U18 Women, Wales U19 Women, GB U18 3×3 Women|
|Lucas||Scotland||Wales Men, Wales U19 Men|
|Azeb||Smalley||Wales Men Coach, Wales U19 Women Coach|
|Isabella||Tang||Wales U16 Girls|
|Pete||Walker||Wales Men, Wales U19 Men|
|Gwynne||Walker||Invictus Games UK team|
|Curtis||Walters||Wales U15 Boys|
|Rosie||Williams||Invictus Games UK team coach – wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby|