Sophia Smale, a teenager from Monmouth school for girls has been selected to train under the England Women’s Academy coaches this winter.
Sophia is a top-order batter and left-arm spinner and has been playing cricket since the mere age of 5. She has been playing cricket for Wales Under-15 and under-17’s, she was also an MVP of Newport cricket club under-15 boys’ winning cup squad. She learned cricket from her grandfather Malcolm Price, a qualified coach and a stalwart of Newport Cricket Club and junior cricket throughout Wales.
“Playing cricket for England has been an ambition all my life, I have a very positive mental attitude and I am moving closer to fulfilling my dream of playing for England and I will keep working hard on all aspects of my game, My 18-year-old brother, Will, is my role model. He has been representing Ireland Under-19s and will be playing in Sydney over the winter as part of the International Cricket Programme”- Says Sophia in a conversation with attain.news
At such a young age, Sophia has grabbed many feathers in her cap like representing Gwent Young Cricketers, after being a successful pick by Wales and the South West Regional Development Centre (RDC) she was initially picked for the South West team at the RDC girls’ festival in Shrewsbury. Sophia being a talented budding cricketer was among 120 girls from across the country who featured in a mini-festival. She was also selected for the England Cricket Board’s School Games at Loughborough.
The Monmouth students were involved in bowling some terrific overs against the best young female batters in various challenging match situations. Acknowledging her fantastic bowling spell, Sophia was invited by the Head Coach of the England Women’s Academy to play in a two-day game, involving the best 24 girls nationally. Grabbing the attention of selectors, she has now been picked by academy Spin Bowling coach Gareth Breese, in the England Spin Bowling Group.
“I love playing cricket under pressure and bowling in challenging and testing situations, One of my proudest moments of the summer was when I came on to bowl in the final of the School Games and, with the opposition batters scoring freely, I managed to take 3-15 and it changed the game.” – said Sophia.
Adding, “Hopefully, I can play for England and show that girls can succeed in cricket. The women’s game is improving year on year with the leading players on central contracts and it’s wonderful to see the female players are getting the same opportunities as the men. The International Cricket Council has just unveiled plans for the Under-19 Women’s World Cup in Bangladesh in 2021. That competition takes place in two years’ time and it’s definitely something in which I hope to be involved.”