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Ross Carr-Taylor Will Continue As Head Coach For Foreseeable Future

Following a formal end of year review led by WKA Chair Kristopher Banham and supported by the WKA Board, the Welsh Korfball Association and Ross Carr-Taylor have a agreed on a multi-year extension. This extension will see Ross continue as the Welsh National Team head coach until the next IKF World Championships. Both parties were extremely keen on triggering the in-contract extension and were quick to agree the deal.

Ross Carr-Taylor’s first year in charge saw resounding success across the board. In June, Wales won the annual TriNations tournament defeating both Scotland and Ireland, with the former result setting new records for most goals scored (27) and biggest margin of victory (+17) by the Wales National Team. The Wales Reserve Squad, competing for the first time, also secured 3 wins from 4 matches over the weekend. Success at this tournament was followed up by a top 8 finish at the IKF Beach Korfball World Cup held in Poland, and victory against Morocco in an official IKF friendly match in November.

The successful first year concluded with Wales winning the IKF European Championship Round 1 Qualifier event held in Saint-Étienne, France, from November 24th-26th. Victories against Serbia, Armenia, and France secured a gold medal at the qualifier for Wales and qualification to next year’s European-B Championships. The event also saw Ross’ side re-set records for most goals scored in a match (31) and biggest margin of victory (+23) against Armenia. In total the Wales Competition Squad won 6 of 7 official indoor IKF matches, and 21 wins in all competitions under Ross’ guidance. 

WKA Chair Kristopher Banham had the following to say: “The WKA are delighted to announce Ross’ extension as head coach of the Wales Squad. We’ve seen success both on the court with this year’s results, and off the court during training, preparation, and development. Ensuring the best chance for continued success is the WKA’s top priority, and Ross’ extension is a key component of that goal. Welsh Korfball maintains its long term vision for the National Squad and are excited to see what can be achieved at the international level in the coming years”.

Wales Win IKF Competition For First Time Since 2009

📷 Marco Spelten (https://www.facebook.com/actiefotografieNL)

By achieving 1st place at the European Qualifiers in November, the Wales National Squad secured their first IKF tournament victory and gold medal in 14 years. The route to victory involved breaking the record for goals in a game and margin of victory twice in consecutive days, first against Serbia (29-18), and then Armenia (31-8). The squad suffered  a close golden-goal loss to fellow home nation Scotland (14-15), but secured victory against host nation France (16-18), who beat Wales one year prior at the 2023 World Championship Qualifiers, on the final day.  

Regarding the recent successes, Assistant Coach Ruth Campbell-Barbir commented: “It’s been a privilege to assist in the coaching of this group of players alongside Ross to achieve our objective of winning the European Qualifier this year. The squad has come on leaps and bounds since the start of this cycle and I’m excited to see how we can continue to develop going into 2024”.

The Wales National Squad are now on a break between cycles, and will resume training in the Spring of 2024. The squad will begin preparations for the annual Nations tournament, as well as upcoming IKF events including the European Championships-B, in the new year. News and announcements of training dates, as well as information on pathways for new players to join the Wales National Squad, will be released shortly. 

For questions regarding the International setup, or to discuss opportunities to be involved with the Wales National Squad, please contact our international officers (internationals@welshkorfball.org). Alternatively, please contact the association chair (chair@welshkorfball.org).