13/04/2024

Elyse Villani. (Image: Tasmania Cricket).

After winning a third consecutive premiership in this year’s Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) final, the Tasmanian Tigers have turned their focus onto next season.

The Tasmanian Tigers are once again WNCL champions, after besting the Queensland Fire to take their third consecutive title. Becoming a superpower in the league, they have their eyes set firmly on next season.

The Tigers’ captain Elyse Villani was among the names to help Tasmania get to the memorable three-peat, making 32 runs off 45 balls on the day. Although celebrations are in full swing for the Tigers, Villani shared that she is focusing on making improvements in the off-season.

“Luckily, I don’t have the same job as Jude [Coleman] and the rest of the support staff where they’re already planning for the whole squad and have to look at things like list management etc, but from an individual point of view, I’m already thinking about the improvements that I want to make,” Villani said on Wednesday.

“I’m a part of this squad because I want to keep getting better as an individual, and I want to help the team to continue to get better as well.”

However, it’s not just Villani who is aiming to improve herself. The captain shared that several other players have already begun training well ahead of the new season.

“It’s certainly on our minds that when we do come back at the start of pre-season, we’re ready to go and give it a red hot crack next season,” she said.

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For Villani, she admits that she’s ‘not sure how to feel’ with the final having been over for a few days already. But she was hopeful that the historic win will have a positive impact on the future generations of Tasmanians wanting to get into the sport.

“People sort of ask how does it feel, has it’s sunk in yet and the answer is, I’m not sure how to feel,” she said.

“It probably hasn’t sunk in and I’m not sure that it will for quite some time, because I think it’s something that maybe we’ll look back on in a couple of years time and really see the significance of the impact that the team has had.

“[We’re] hoping that it sees an increase in numbers in Tasmanian cricket and that there’s more young girls and boys taking up the sport because they watched the Tigers have success.

“I guess we’re always hungry for more, and that’s the best thing about our group. So we’ve gone the three-peat [and] it was really hard work, it was off the back of a lot of individuals.

“There was so many people that were a part of that three-peat as well, not just this current team. There was a lot of support staff involved over the last few years as well in the broader organisation.

“I just think it’s something that everyone can be extremely proud of and we’re just really stoked to share it with the Tasmanian community.”

Villani emphasised how proud she was of the playing group’s mentality to get back into the thick of things only a few days after winning the premiership title.

“I think that’s the best thing about our group and that’s what Jude sort of touched on in terms of [the fact that] everyone’s really driven to do well, not just for themselves but for each other,” Villani continued.

“That’s a great thing to have within a team that you want to be successful because you want to make sure that you’re helping lift the team and you’re not letting anyone down.

“So, certainly, something that I’m passionate about in terms of us saying that we talk about a lot, we talk about Tigers first and that means that we have a real team-first mentality.”

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