'Sterling' asset


'Sterling' asset

Young Sunshine Girl a defensive force to be reckoned with

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ The Netball World Cup
In Liverpool, England

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — If Jamaica's Sunshine Girls are to upset the apple cart at the 2019 Netball World Cup, they need all hands on deck on each third of the court.

Being efficient in attack and limiting turnovers will be key elements, but also important will be their capacity to stop their opponents from scoring.

And in defensive player Shamera Sterling they possess a force to be reckoned with.

A specialist goalkeeper, who can ably fill in at goal defence, she is a rising star in the sport.

Long-limbed, nimble and energetic, Sterling has shown on-court judgement and anticipation which belies her 23 years.

It's her first World Cup but she certainly isn't in awe.

“I'm looking forward to gaining experience and to enjoy it with my teammates. And hopefully we can win a medal,” she told the Jamaica Observer before the start of the tournament.

To achieve that podium finish, the Sunshine Girls will have to contend with the likes of reigning three-time champions Australia, hosts England and former winners, New Zealand.

“I've been training in the Suncorp League (in Australia) which has high-intensity netball, so I'm really prepared for the task. I'm just looking to put it all on the court and play really good defence.”

Jamaica are scheduled to face Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago today after spanking Fiji 85-29 in their opening game of the tournament yesterday.

Though still in the early, stages of her senior career she is already a fan favourite, setting tongues wagging in positive symphony with almost every outing.

“I'm grateful that the fans love me and I'm hoping I can give them what they want,” Sterling said, humbly accepting her place in fans' hearts.

“I guess it's my hard work, my passion and how I read the game, and my love for the game. I train hard and I dedicate myself to the task,” she reasoned.

She already has a medal under her belt as a member of Jamaica's team that secured bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year.

The standout goalkeeper told the Observer she started playing the sport by chance.

“I started playing at age 12 at Corinaldi Avenue Primary in Montego Bay. I was at school in the quadrangle and the kids were always there playing. I started playing with them at the goal attack, and the coach saw me and said 'you need to come to training' and from there things took off. I went to Anchovy High and I played wing attack and centre,” she recalled.

Later, she developed significantly developed her skills and solidified her most effective position thanks to the tutelage of Jamaica's former coach and player Oberon Pitterson-Nattie.

“I went to the Under-16 team and I was playing centre, then I moved up to the Under-21. In the beginning I played centre, but Oberon Pitterson-Nattie changed me into a defender because we didn't think centre would have worked for me.

“Oberon has helped me a lot to read the game. She trained me and just watched videos and told me how to go about reading the game. I watch videos myself and also watch other defenders and that's how I'm effective,” Sterling explained.

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