Jersey 2015: Basketball call for Botterill
- Busy week in store for former football professional.
- 'Thrilled' Island captain planning on doubling up on opening day of NatWest Island Games.
ISLAND footballer Jodie Botterill will play in two sports at this summer's NatWest Island Games after being selected for Jersey's basketball team.
The 30-year-old, who was named in Simon Petulla's football squad last month, has been given the nod by ladies basketball coach James Reed this week and will line up as part of a 12-strong team at Fort Regent in addition to leading the hosts' charge for gold at Springfield.
Jersey have not entered ladies basketball since the Isle of Man Games in 2001 – when Botterill was 'too young' to compete – so the fact that they will make a return this summer has put a smile on her face.
And, with so much action being crammed in to one week, she intends to double-up on the opening day.
'I'm thrilled to be selected for both teams,' said Botterill. 'I've thought about it in the past, but it's never been an option, so now the ladies basketball are in I want to make the most of it.
Reed, who has himself been named in the men's basketball squad, said: 'Jodie has played for a number of years now and is a great athlete. She brings a different dynamic to the team with great pace and plays very strong guard defence. We were a little concerned about the basketball and football fixtures clashing, but luckily they haven't and she is available for both sports.'
Botterill – once a Wales football international – is joined by former Wales basketball representative Kerry Helwig in the side, while Jackie Delph is the only player (bar Botterill) with competitive Games experience having played in 1999 and 2001.
Meanwhile, player-coach Pawel Zalewski has announced his men's team following last weekend's trip to UK Division III outfit Derby Trailblazers. The Islanders picked up one win from two games as they prepare to improve on the ninth place finish achieved in the Isle of Wight in 2011, and Guillaume Hoareau and Duncan Prince are in to provide experience alongside the exciting potential of the likes of Jake Michel.
'We don't have any injury problems so it was just a case of deciding whether we go for experience versus youth and also if we go for a guard or a bigger player,' said Zalewski. 'It was fairly easy up to the tenth player, but the last two were difficult to pick.
'The guys are realistic ... Bermuda are always favourites for gold and Saaremaa and Gibraltar will be favourites for the medals. Our hope is to improve on the last Games and beat the British teams. I think fifth or sixth would be a good Games for us.'
Ladies: Magdalena Blazejewska, Kerry Helwig, Marian Suguitan, Clare Frost, Annika Engebrecht, Jacquline Harrop, Lauren Syddall, Jodie Botterill, Jackie Delph, Hannah Amy, Sarah Madel, Emma White.
Men: Andrew Barreto, Bob Gouzinis, Guillaume Hoareau, Alex Pacheco, Jake Michel, Jordan Neill, Sean Pallot, Duncan Prince, Krzysztof Radzimski, James Reed, Pawel Zalewsk, Cameron Stables.
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