Netball Coach Says There Were Many Positives in UK


The Jamaican national netball team, ‘The Sunshine Girls’, returned to the island on February 28, following a three-match Test with England.
Coach, Connie Francis, told JIS News that although the Test against England did not go as planned (England won all three matches), there were many positives, as the squad that faced England was a relatively young one, comprised of five members of the under 21 team.
“We were disappointed with the results, but I am happy about some of the performances. We worked hard as a team and there were a lot of positives and I was pleased with the playing of our young players, the defensive work.the team worked well together, although some were playing outside of their comfort zone,” Ms. Francis said.
Back in Jamaica, the under 21 players will be rejoining that squad to prepare for matches against the New Zealand under 21 team in March and the England under 21 in April. Two members of the squad will be playing professional netball overseas. Goal shooter, Romelda Aiken, will be playing in Australia and Althea Byfield will be playing in New Zealand.
Ms. Francis said the national squad would be taking a break for a month, then regroup to prepare for a tournament in Trinidad and Tobago and prepare for the World Series later this year back in the United Kingdom and the Test series against Australia and New Zealand.
She was also looking forward to having some of the veteran players back in the squad. The team that toured England was missing four of the top mid court players owing to school, injury and one member on maternity leave.
Ms. Francis was also appreciative for the support of the United Kingdom (UK) Jamaican community during the Test.
“The support was fantastic. The Jamaican community was really very good. It is good to be away from home and feel at home and know that you still have your people to support you and keen to help you,” she said.
Meanwhile, tributes were paid to the netball team at a reception, hosted by the Jamaican High Commission, on February 27. High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman, said the team acquitted itself well.
Although the results were not in our favour, you can take comfort and credit in your performances. You played well and we are looking forward to the World Series,” he told members of the team.

JIS Social