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Hearts and U21 squads announced for summer

9 November 2011

Hearts and U21 squads announced for summer

The Hearts recipe for a successful season could involve a young player who will have just finished her Year 11 exams.

16 year old Lauren Down has been included in the Hearts summer squad and is currently completing Year 11 at Kristin School. She has been a star performer at age group level for Auckland and could get her chance to shine on the domestic stage if things work out for her this season.

She said that she was surprised to find out about her selection but is excited about what lies ahead.

"It will be a big challenge but it will be good for me playing against really good players, and hopefully force me to take a step up."

The 15 player Hearts squad has a bit of new look feel to it with five players included for the first time in the shape of Down, Arlene Kelly, Georgia Guy, Sarah Carnachan and Shannen Elliott. Guy and Kelly are also still at school and mean that the Hearts side could have a youthful flavour to it this season.

Co-coach Katrina Keenan is hoping those players will make a mark and is not concerned about them being overawed.

"If you identify players with the skills and abilities it's important for them to be involved in the process. I think all the players that have been identified have the potential to be not just Hearts but future White Ferns.

Keenan has been happy with the Hearts preparation and is confident heading into the season.

"I'm really excited, we've got a quality bunch of athletes. I think the difference this year is our planning, everybody understands their role and we've identified specific skills for them to work on rather than them trying to train every aspect."

Captain Victoria Lind's name is in the mix although she faces a race against time to overcome injury for the first game against Canterbury on December 2. If she can't prove her fitness then the Hearts will be led by vice-captain Katie Perkins.

The squad is also notable for the inclusion of West Indian international and current ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year Stafanie Taylor who will arrive at the end of November in time to join the Hearts for their first round of matches.

The Auckland Under 21 side that was announced at the same time has a familiar look to it with seven players from the Hearts squad included in the team to travel to Lincoln for the tournament from 14-20 December.

Follow the link below for a video interview with Lauren Down and Katrina Keenan

Auckland Hearts Summer Squad:
Victoria Lind (Captain) (Ellerslie)
Katie Perkins (Vice Captain) (Cornwall)
Paula Gruber (Grafton United)
Sam Curtis (Waitakere City)
Holly Huddleston (Papatoetoe)
Maddie Green (Cornwall)
Megan Tremaine (Papatoetoe)
Roz McNeil (Takapuna)
Saskia Bullen (Ellerslie)
Lauren Down (East Coast Bays / Kristin School)
Georgia Guy (Cornwall / Mt Albert Grammar)
Arlene Kelly (Papatoetoe / St Mary's College)
Shannen Elliott (Waitakere City)
Sarah Carnachan (Cornwall)
Stafanie Taylor (Overseas player)
Co-Coaches: Maia Lewis / Katrina Keenan
Assistant Coach: Dean Flyger
Manager: Sue Borich

Auckland U21 Women's Team:
Maddie Green (Captain) (Cornwall)
Lauren Down (Vice Captain) (East Coast Bays / Kristin School)
Georgia Guy (Cornwall / Mt Albert Grammar)
Arlene Kelly (Papatoetoe / St Mary's College)
Shannen Elliott (Waitakere City)
Sarah Carnachan (Cornwall)
Alex Eastwood (Papatoetoe)
Amy Courtney (Papatoetoe)
Victoria Fahey (Cornwall)
Francesca Wilkinson (Cornwall / St Kentigerns College)
Khusboo Patel (Cornwall / Lynfield College)
Roz McNeil (Takapuna)

Non-travelling Reserves:
Clare Mains (Cornwall / St Kentigerns College)
Lily Mulivai (Waitakere City)
Stephanie Carr (Auckland University)
Natasha van Tilburg (Eden Roskill / Avondale College)
Saachi Shahri (Papatoetoe / Botany Downs Secondary School)
Coach: Dean Flyger
Manager: Maia Lewis


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