Wakeling really proud to get senior GB call before World Championships are cancelled
PUBLISHED: 15:01 03 April 2020
Ellie Wakeling said getting the call-up for the Great Britain women’s squad for the World Championships was ‘a really proud moment’.
But the teenager’s joy was shortlived as the event in Spain was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was a really proud moment. I was really looking forward to going away with the girls and I think it would’ve been a really great experience,” she said.
“It wasn’t a nice feeling to know it had been cancelled. We were all hoping it was just going to get postponed. It was a shame to know we were not going to get to go away together after all the training days and games we had in Sheffield.
“However, it was completely understable as to why it had to be done.”
Wakeling, 17, started playing at Chelmsford aged five, with her family already involved in the sport, adding: “I was always at the rink and one day Martin Parfitt told me to stop watching and get on the ice and it’s all gone from there.”
After six seasons playing for Bracknell and Chelmsford teams, as well as GB under-18s, she joined the Romford Junior Raiders at the start of the 2018/19 campaign and has made 44 appearances to date, while also maintaining a place in the GB under-18 squad.
And she is pleased with how things are progressing for her, adding: “I’m still a junior player and developing my defensive play at the senior men’s games.
“I read the game well and like to play quite defensive, although I can skate the puck when the opportunity is there.
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“I think my development improved this year because of the situations the coaches put me in and the standard of the league and players I was on a line with, meant I had to play better in games.
“Playing in the men’s league is faster, more physical and a lot more intense, but I enjoy it and it’s helping me to develop so much more.”
When it came to picking highs and lows from the recent campaign, she said: “There were a lot of positives, however we could’ve done better if we did the little things right more consistently in every game.
“One of the Chieftains home games was definitely our best performance of the year and it was a shame to not come out of that with a win. The loss against MK was one of the biggest lows, although we got the points in the end (Thunder played an ineligible player).
“It was one of the worst games we’ve played together as a team.”
Wakeling credited several of her coaches for helping her to improve and also had words of advice for any girls looking to follow in her skate marks.
“In my younger years, Martin Parfitt and Dave Capps helped me a lot,” she said.
“Ben Pitchley has given me a lot of opportunities and advice across my career, especially since moving to Romford, and Natz Aldridge has also had a massive influence on my career and helped me become the player I am now.
“I hope to get the opportunity to play hockey abroad, it’s just a case of finding the right time and place to go in order for me to have the best experience possible with the best development.
“I would say have the confidence to be a part of a team and to experience playing in a girls’ league and also the mixed league. It helped me to widen my knowledge of the game and improve my skill set and confidence.”
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