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Strikers squad complete with three new additions

18 October 2017

Annie O'Neil and Ellie Falconer

Former Sydney Sixer Rhiannon Dick, along with South Australian teenagers Ellie Falconer and Annie O’Neil complete the Strikers squad for Rebel WBBL|03.

Falconer, a Clare native who is currently completing year 12 at Clare High School, is a quick bowler who has been recognised throughout the State underage pathway for her pace.

Youngest Striker Falconer was selected last year as the under-18 rookie who completed a two-week League Pathway Placement program with the squad.

“I was very surprised when I was told (about my contract), but it’s such a huge privilege to get it,” Falconer said.

“I really, really enjoyed the time I spent with the team last year and seeing what the girls got to do and how it all worked.”

O’Neil, a batter and part-time leg-spinner from Murray Bridge, has captained the South Australian under-18 side for the last two seasons and, along with Falconer, has been awarded with her first State contract this year.

“I’m really excited for it (WBBL) to start but I’ll have a lot to learn off the older players and I think they will have a big influence on bringing the team together,” O’Neil said.

“WBBL has done so much for women’s cricket, so when I found out about my contract, I was quickly onto mum who was over the moon I think even more than I was.”

Head Coach Andrea McCauley is delighted to sign two more local girls who have come through the South Australian pathway.

“Both girls have performed well at underage tournaments and have now become (SA) Scorpions and have worked hard all winter,” McCauley said.

“Ellie is a great fast bowler and she has that bit of extra zip, while Annie is a very good athlete who is improving all the time. I think they are both very exciting prospects for the future.”

Former Sydney Sixers allrounder Dick will also be donning the Strikers’ blue this summer.

The 27-year-old physiotherapist has previously played with the ACT Meteors, however chose to renounce her contract due to university and work commitments.

“The chance to work with the coaching staff at the Strikers was a draw card for me – Andrea and Shelley (Nitschke) both have so much experience,” Dick said.

“I think it’s a great time to come to the Strikers with the mix of young talent coming through and the experience of the international players signed.”

Dick took an astounding 6/14 against the NSW Breakers in a women’s T20 semi-final in 2013-14 and has also played two T20 matches in an Australia XI side.

“We always look at certain skill sets and a left-hand bat is something we haven’t got a lot of in our squad,” McCauley said.

“She’s a left-arm orthodox which is handy for us, following Shelley Nitschke’s retirement. I think Rhiannon is someone who can bring something different to our group – we have given her the opportunity to continue to play at this level and hopefully she will do really well.”

The Strikers open WBBL|03 with games against Hobart Hurricanes at Glenelg’s Gliderol Stadium on 9 and 10 December.

Complete Strikers WBBL|03 squad: Rhiannon Dick, Annie O’Neil, Ellie Falconer, Tammy Beaumont, Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Megan Schutt, Amanda Wellington, Samantha Betts, Tahlia McGrath, Katelyn Pope, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Tegan McPharlin, Bridget Patterson.

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