Ed Joyce believes the Irish women's cricketers have plenty of quality and talent but feels there is a lot of hard work to do ahead of a big summer for the team.
Ireland's interim head coach is gearing the players up for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in August after the home series against Zimbabwe and the Quadrangular Tournament in the Netherlands.
Joyce has identified one part of their game that he would like to improve ahead of the T20 Qualifier in Scotland.
"One area perhaps is to bring more power into our game," said Joyce
"Watching some of the top teams, like England Women playing West Indies this week, the athleticism in the field is very evident, and when they hit the ball they really hit it really hard, and they’re hitting a lot of boundaries.
"We've got some players who can do that really well and others who have a way to go, so that would be my focus in the medium term if I did get the opportunity to continue in the job after the qualifier."
Ed Joyce has one more week before first taste of action
The 40-year-old was appointed as interim boss last week following the departure of Aaron Hamilton and has exactly one more week left to prepare for the opening 50-overs match of the series against Zimbabwe.
Joyce admits that he has a lot to do before that match at Oak Hill on July 3.
“I do feel I have a huge amount of experience in the game and I am extremely motivated to do well," added Joyce.
"We have a very exciting young team with a huge number of talented players - not just in the senior performance squad, but also in the Academy.
"I was there out at Oak Hill last Sunday at the Super 3s and the talent was there for all to see. Saying that, there is a lot of work to do and I'm prepared to get stuck in.
And he will be hoping that his experience in the game will help a team that is missing one key player and dealing with the departure of Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Ciara Metcalfe, and Clare Shillington, who all retired at the end of last year.
"In terms of success, I think the proof will be in the pudding with how we do over the next two to three months," said the Bray native.
"With the four senior players retiring last year and the absence of Kim Garth through injury it will be challenging, but we have some quality players and some experienced players to help steer us through these qualifiers ahead.
"As a player, I've been through this scenario before, so I feel I can bring some of that experience to the table as well."
Ed Joyce welcomes back his skipper
Garth performed well Laura Delany's absence but Joyce is delighted to have his captain back in time to feature against the African nation.
“Laura is a quality player - she's the skipper and very much the leader of the group," said Joyce. "I've done a fair amount of work with her over the last couple of weeks, including some 1-to-1s."
"She hits the ball very hard and knows her own game well and her bowling is extremely handy when she’s fully fit. Her leadership skills are also really developing so she's great to have back.
"Hopefully she can have a great series against Zimbabwe and get her confidence up and get the confidence in her own body up - she's had some issues with injuries so it would be great for her to get through these games unscathed."
Squads for Zimbabwe series:
50-over squad: Laura Delany (C), Shauna Kavanagh, Anna Kerrison, Gaby Lewis, Hannah Little, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Lara Maritz, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Una Raymond-Hoey, Mary Waldron.
T20I squad: Laura Delany (C), Shauna Kavanagh, Anna Kerrison, Gaby Lewis, Hannah Little, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Lara Maritz, Naomi Matthews, Celeste Raack, Una Raymond-Hoey, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.
- 3 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill, start 11.30am)
- 5 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill, start 11.30am)
- 7 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill, start 11.30am)
T20 International series:
- 10 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Stormont, start 4pm)*
- 12 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Bready, start 11am)*
- 14 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Bready, start 11am)*
The T20I series will be doubleheaders with Ireland and Zimbabwe Men’s teams playing at the same venue on the same day.