Yorkshire seamer Bethany Slater and Northumberland batting all-rounder Emily Whiting are the two new names in the Northern Diamonds Academy squad for 2022.
The pair make up a 15-player Academy group which will again be led by head coach Courtney Winfield-Hill.
The other 13 players, including 2021 Player of the Year award winners Ciara Boaden and Emma Marlow, have all been retained from last year.
Slater has represented Yorkshire from Under 13s level upwards, taking six wickets in as many senior T20 appearances last summer.
Whiting has played 11 times for Northumberland’s senior team, first debuting in 2018.
“Beth and Emily have both slotted into our group really well,” said Winfield-Hill.
“They have brought a terrific energy, and the rest of the group have welcomed them with open arms, which has been brilliant.”
It is now hoped that a number of the Academy players will be able to make the step up to senior level in 2022, with their development already providing coaches with significant encouragement.
“Dani Hazell has got a little bit of a smaller senior squad this year, and we have been trying to create opportunities for our Academy and senior players to crossover a lot more,” explained Winfield-Hill.
“We have a cluster of players who we want to stretch and challenge in that senior space.
“We want to expose them to that senior environment, almost a transitional phase if you will.
“Emma Marlow and Phoebe Turner are going to be stepping up into almost a rookie positions.
“We are mindful of not rushing the process. So they will be registered and named in the Academy, but they will be stepping up.”
There is another new name in the Diamonds set-up in seam bowling all-rounder Abi Glen, who is a rookie player for 2022.
A Yorkshire-born student at Loughborough University, Glenn, who bowls with good pace, has been on the Diamonds radar for a couple of years but has only just recovered from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
On top of one Regional Academy Festival at Shrewsbury School last year, the Diamonds Academy were limited to friendly fixtures.
This year, coach Winfield-Hill said: “It looks like a healthier calendar.
“The schedule is a little bit more formalised this year.
“We have two Academy Festivals, one in April at Loughborough and then the usual one at Shrewsbury School. Then, we have the School Games at the start of September.
“Around that we have some more fixtures which have been centrally allocated to us by the ECB. We play every other region once away from the festivals.
“It’s definitely a lot better than last year, which is terrific for the girls.
“We also have a couple of internal games with the seniors and a few friendlies, etc.”
Northern Diamonds Academy: Madeleine Atkinson, Ciara Boaden, Mary Butler, Grace Hall, Trudy Johnson, Lucy Lindley, Emma Marlow, Ellie Nightingale, Harriet Robson, Lizzie Scott, Bethany Slater, Ellie Tiffin, Phoebe Turner, Jessica Woolston, Emily Whiting.
Rookie Player: Abi Glen.
Northern Diamonds Seniors: Hollie Armitage, Katherine Brunt, Leah Dobson, Bess Heath, Rachel Hopkins, Jenny Gunn, Beth Langston, Sterre Kalis, Katie Levick, Nat Sciver, Rachel Slater, Linsey Smith, Ella Telford, Lauren Winfield-Hill.