Great Britain head coach Tom Maher believes his players are ready for their public debut after three weeks of battles behind closed doors in Guildford.

The Australian has trimmed his roster to 14 players, surprisingly axing guard prospect Georgia Jones, as well as releasing Kate Butters, one of the handful of survivors from GB’s inaugural season in 2006.

Now he will turn his attentions to his team’s first friendlies of the summer, on the road against Croatia on Monday and Tuesday.

And right from the off, he has laid down expectations that GB should be capable of raising their game to a new level.

“We have quality players,” said Maher. “We’re not going to be the most loaded team. We’re not going to have a bunch of 6-foot-5 gazelles. But we’re going to be a competitive team.

“We’ve had a real fillip with one kid coming in for her first year in Temi Fagbenle. She’s special.

“But everybody is so much more professional. Their IQ is better. They’ve taken a leap forward.”

Fagbenle, who has just completed her first year at Harvard, and Dominique Allen, fresh from finishing her degree at Oral Roberts University, will be in line to win their first caps against the powerful Croatians who are building towards next month’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey after reaching the quarter-finals of last year’s EuroBasket Women in Poland.

It is the first of 17 warm-up fixtures for GB in a schedule that also includes games in Belgium, Turkey, China and the Czech Republic, as well as two tournaments in Edinburgh and Sheffield.

With Durham-born forward Chantelle Handy edging back to full fitness after recovering from a broken metatarsal, Maher’s squad is now taking shape as he ponders which 12 will eventually go to the Olympics.

Fagbenle, impressive in practice, could potentially scrap with Azania Stewart for the starting centre spot if Maher opts to go for size and strength in his frontcourt. Allen has punched above her weight and could yet hold onto her place.

It is in the backcourt where the most intriguing questions lie ahead. Nat Stafford and Steph Gandy both hold naturalised status so one eventually must miss out. In the numbers game, the final spot could be between Lauren Thomas-Johnson, Stef Collins and Bermuda-born Jeneya Wade-Frey.

Maher will soon find out more about his options. There are three more tests to come next weekend in a four-team tournament in Belgium before Britain hosts Canada at Meadowbank on June 9 and 10.

“Croatia’s in our league,” he declared. “Canada would be ranked considerably above us. But they’re great tests, fantastic.

“The preparation is spot on. As long as we stay healthy, we couldn’t ask for better preparation.”

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