Nine English golfers have been named in the Great Britain & Ireland preliminary squad of 26 players for the 2009 Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.
The match will be played at Hamburger Golf Club, Falkenstein, Germany on July 24 and 25 next year.
The nine include two teenagers: 18-year-old English champion Hannah Barwood (Knowle) and 16-year-old Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale), who was runner up in the British girls championship and is just back from the Junior Ryder Cup.
Curtis Cup players Liz Bennett (Brokenhurst Manor), Jodi Ewart (Catterick) and Florentyna Parker (Royal Birkdale) have been selected, alongside Rachel Jennings, the French lady junior champion, from Izaak Walton; former English champions Naomi Edwards (Ganton) and Kerry Smith (Waterlooville); and Hannah Burke (Mid-Herts) who is enjoying a successful career on the US womens college circuit.
The naming of a large squad of 26 specifically for the Vagliano Trophy match represents a change from the Ladies Golf Unions previous policy of selecting an Elite Squad for winter training and coaching sessions.
LGU chairman Trish Wilson explains: Each of the national organisations provides technical training and performance support to its international class players and prospects, and there has been a growing recognition that the additional layer of coaching formerly provided by the LGU is not required.
Consequently, our focus will be more on performance monitoring and team preparation. On the performance side, we will monitor the results, attitude and commitment of players by working closely with the performance managers and national coaches within the four home countries. The national selectors will rely heavily on this information when reaching decisions on the final team selection.
On team preparation it is intended to have a practice match once the Vagliano Team has been selected after the 2009 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Royal St Davids Golf Club in June. We will call on specialist help as necessary to make sure the team is well positioned to win back the Vagliano Trophy next summer.
In practice, players will determine their own playing schedules with the help of their performance managers and national coaches, although the LGU will provide details of certain tournaments which squad players will be expected to play in. Players are also encouraged to consider playing in overseas tournaments, which fall between the end of 2008 domestic season and the start of the 2009 tournament calendar, and which are being highlighted as warm-weather venues where competition and practice can be combined in a way unlikely to be possible during the winter months in Great Britain & Ireland.
The LGU stresses that, although 26 squad players have been named, there is nothing to stop other players from competing in the designated tournaments with a view to forcing their way into the Vagliano Trophy team of nine players and two reserves.
NAMES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
1 Hannah Barwood (ENG) (Knowle)
2 Liz Bennett (ENG) (Brokenhurst Manor)
3 Carly Booth (SCO) (Comrie)
4 Amy Boulden (WAL) (Maesdu)
5 Hannah Burke (ENG) (Mid Herts)
6 Krystle Caithness (SCO) (St Regulus)
7 Tara Delaney (IRE) (Carlow)
8 Naomi Edwards (ENG) (Ganton)
9 Jodi Ewart (ENG) (Catterick)
10 Sahra Hassan (WAL) (Vale of Glamorgan)
11 Rachel Jennings (ENG) (Izaak Walton)
12 Niamh Kitching (IRE) (Claremorris)
13 Breanne Loucks (WAL) (Wrexham)
14 Kelsey MacDonald (SCO) (Nairn Dunbar)
15 Leona Maguire (IRE) (Slieve Russell)
16 Lisa Maguire (IRE) (Slieve Russell)
17 Danielle McVeigh (IRE) (Royal County Down)
18 Roseanna Niven (SCO) (Crieff)
19 Florentyna Parker (ENG) (Royal Birkdale)
20 Pamela Pretswell (SCO) (Bothwell Castle)
21 Kerry Smith (ENG) (Waterlooville)
22 Rhian Wyn Thomas (WAL) (Vale of Glamorgan)
23 Michele Thomson (SCO) (McDonald Ellon)
24 Kelly Tidy (ENG) (Royal Birkdale)
25 Kylie Walker (SCO) (Buchanan Castle)
26 Sally Watson (SCO) (Elie & Earlsferry Ladies)
For further information visit www.englishwomensgolf.org