Cricket NSW today announced the Lend Lease Breakers contracted players for the 2014/15 season with 18 players, including five new faces, being included as the team aims to win their 10th consecutive Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) title while also reclaiming the Women’s T20 trophy.
The Lend Lease Breakers are one of Australia’s most successful domestic sporting teams having won a staggering nine straight WNCL 50 over titles since 2005/06, and a total of 15 in the last 17 seasons. In 2012/13 they also became the first and only team to win both the WNCL and WT20 in the same season.
Central to the team’s success has been NSW’s ability to develop some of the best junior talent in the country into world class cricketers, with Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Erin Osborne and Sarah Coyte just a few of the players who have made a seamless transition from Youth cricket to the senior level in the last nine years.
This summer selectors have included NSW U/15 captain, Lauren Cheatle, NSW U/18 captain Ashleigh Gardner and another NSW U/18 star, Lauren Smith, in the senior squad along with former Development squad players Georgia Redmayne and Emily Leys.
Lend Lease Breakers Head Coach, Joanne Broadbent, said the younger players will help to build the team’s dynasty in years to come.
“While our focus this summer is on winning a 10th WNCL title and the WT20, we also have one eye on the future.
“Lauren Cheatle, Lauren Smith, Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Redmayne and Emily Leys are all tremendous young players and their development will benefit greatly from training alongside experienced Australian players. They add extra depth to our squad and I expect them to play a role in the Breakers’ success in coming seasons,” she said.
Lend Lease Breakers captain, Alex Blackwell, said the squad were excited about the season ahead.
“We are extremely proud of our record in the WNCL and we are desperate to keep this streak going for as long as possible. We would also love to win another WT20 trophy.
“The competition is going to be even tougher this year. Victoria have recruited Nicole Bolton and Queensland is a young team on the rise. Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have also been bolstered by English and New Zealand players so we are looking forward to the extra challenge,” she said.
Blackwell and Leah Poulton are the only two players to have been part of all nine consecutive WNCL titles so far, while Sarah Aley has played in eight of the nine premiership winning teams.
The full list of Lend Lease Breakers contracted players for 2014/15 is (clubs/regional zones in brackets):
Alex Blackwell (captain – Universities/Riverina)
Rachael Haynes (vice-captain – Universities)
Sarah Aley (Bankstown Sports)
Nicola Carey (St George-Sutherland)
Lauren Cheatle (Campbelltown-Camden/Illawarra-Southern)
Sarah Coyte (Campbelltown-Camden)
Stefanie Daffara (Campbelltown-Camden/Illawarra-Southern)
Ashleigh Gardner (Bankstown Sports)
Alyssa Healy (Sydney)
Emily Leys (Gordon/Western)
Erin Osborne (Sydney/Central Northern)
Ellyse Perry (Sydney)
Leah Poulton (St George-Sutherland/Newcastle)
Angela Reakes (Sydney/North Coastal)
Georgia Redmayne (Universities/North Coastal)
Lauren Smith (Northern District/Central Coast)
Naomi Stalenberg (Campbelltown-Camden)
Kara Sutherland (Universities/North Coastal)
In other changes from last season, Sharon Millanta has retired while Claire Koski and Sohryn Miles have been de-listed.
The Lend Lease Breakers will begin their WNCL title defence in October.