An Initial Squad of Thirty-Two Has Been Selected

Following the Wales Trials on March 4th, and an initial training session on April 9th, the Welsh International Coaching Team have decided on an initial squad for the upcoming cycle. This squad consists of 16 male and 16 female players to compete for both the senior competition squad and the development squad. The players selected for the current cycle are as follows:

Females Males
Bethan Phillips (Birmingham City) Andrew May (Bristol Thunder)
Clara Zorab (Bristol Thunder) Dyiorbek Sanaqulov (Cardiff University)
Hannah Eastwood (Uni of Birmingham) Gary Lam (Cambridge Tigers)
Helen Davies (Highbury) James Newitt (Cardiff City & Met)
Joanne Davies (Nottingham) James Wilcox (Cardiff City & Met)
Katie Evans (Cardiff Raptors) Jordan Evans (Cardiff Raptors)
Kelly Flook (Exeter City) Kristopher Banham (Cardiff City & Met)
Keira Washtell (Cardiff City & Met) Leo Comerford (Bristol Thunder)
Kiera Wilcox (Cardiff City & Met) Mathew Cross (Sheffield City)
Laura Vincent (Cardiff Raptors) Mathew Morgan (Cardiff City & Met)
Lizzie Coster (Highbury) Nick Wilkins (Oxford City)
Naomi Wrigley (Cardiff City & Met) Rhydian Butler-Rees (Cardiff Raptors)
Niamh Sully (Bristol Thunder) Sean Berry (Cardiff City & Met)
Nicola Morgan (Cardiff City & Met) Sîon Edwards (Highbury)
Olivia Tyso (Uni of Birmingham) William Hayward (Newport Centurions)
Yasmin Williams (Nomads) William Horsley (Uni of Birmingham)

 

 

The squad sees a number of returning players from previous cycles in additions to new call-ups. Nick Wilkins, who holds the current Wales cap record with 78 appearances, returns to the setup, alongside veterans James Wilcox, Bethan Phillips, and Leo Comerford. The squad also sees 14 uncapped players selected, including first time selections for Hannah Eastwood, William Horsley, Kelly Flook, and Mathew Cross. From this initial squad of 32 players competition squads will be selected to compete at international events, including Tri-Nations, the Beach Korfball World Cup, and European Qualifiers. 

 

Ruth Campbell Barbir Appointed Assistant Coach

 

Following discussions with head coach Ross Carr-Taylor and elected International Officers, the Welsh Korfball Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Campbell Barbir as the new Wales International Squad Assistant Coach. Ruth has signed an initial 1 year deal to coach the Wales Squad alongside Ross throughout the upcoming international cycle. This agreement also contains optional extensions for 2024 and 2025 provided both parties are satisfied with performance. 

Ruth joined Ross in leading the Wales National Squad during their most recent competition at the 2022 EU World Championship Qualifiers in Türkiye. Both the WKA and Ross were incredibly impressed with her time as assistant during the tournament. As a result, the Welsh Korfball Association sought to appoint Ruth as their first choice for the role.

Ruth has a decorated playing career at both club and international level. Ruth has competed in the National League for both Bec and Thunder, achieving a bronze medal with Bec in 2011. She is the most decorated female player for Wales at the international level. Ruth has earned 61 caps, the highest among female players and second highest on the overall list, as well as scoring 75 goals in all competitions. Furthermore, Ruth has previously captained the international squad on 3 occasions.

In addition to her playing career, Ruth Campbell Barbir has had an extensive coaching career at all levels over the last 20 years, coaching Cardiff University, Cardiff City, and most recently Bristol Thunder in the National League. Ruth’s international experience and widespread success were key factors in the WKA’s desire to appoint her as the new Assistant Coach.

Speaking about the appointment Ross said: “I’m very excited that Ruth has accepted the role, Her insight and player knowledge was invaluable to me at my first competition, and I’m looking forward to working along side her during the next cycle.”

Welsh Korfball Association Chair Kristopher Banham, on behalf of the Wales Korfball Board, stated: “We are excited to appoint Ruth as the new international Assistant Coach. Ruth’s experience at the international level of the sport, specifically within the Wales setup, will bring invaluable knowledge to the group and help to push our senior squad to achieve at the highest level.”.

 

The Wales international squad will now begin preparations for the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament in Cardiff (17/18th June 2023), at which both the senior competition squad and the development squad will compete against teams from Ireland and Scotland.