Sports

'We have to fix a lot of things'

Assistant Coach Nevers says changes necessary as Sunshine Girls look ahead

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — After Jamaica's Sunshine Girls were eliminated from medal contention at the Netball World Cup, Assistant Coach Winston Nevers said changes are required if performances are to improve on the court.

“We have to fix a lot of things now because we are not supposed to be at this position at this time,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“If we see ourselves at this position it means there is something wrong and we must fix it. We have to go back to Jamaica, give our report, look at areas we need to fix and come again,” said Nevers, who is assistant to Head Coach Marvette Anderson.

“We just want to fix some little areas — whether coach, whether player, whether management, whether Netball Jamaica, overall. We just want to do a complete assessment right across the board and put it all together for the future,” he said regarding possible shake-ups after a tournament review is carried out.

The Jamaicans, whose last medal at the World Cup was the bronze won in 2007, have been to every semi-final round since 1995. Their best hope at the ongoing tournament is to win their remaining matches and take fifth spot.

Their campaign in Liverpool started well enough with expected wins over Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago, but the world number two-rated team's medal hope was wiped out by successive losses to world number five South Africa and third-ranked England.

Throughout the matches they lost, Jamaica lacked the movement and incisive passing to consistently unlock their opponents' defence. They were constantly punished after committing turnovers, and when they did force their opponents into errors they were unable to capitalise as much as they were expected to.

“We knew it was going to be tight against South Africa and England. We did not lift our standards, we just went into the match and just played normal. There were a lot of turnovers, the play broke down too many times.

“I think the concentration level was poor, and these are some of the things we worked on in Jamaica. Over the years I've been seeing where the national team has lost the ball due to concentration and decision making.

“They didn't have any problem getting the ball in their possession. Their skill level is good and they are exciting 100 per cent but when they are to deliver [the ball] they give it to the other team. We needed to be mentally tough and play right across the board,” Nevers lamented.

He added: “What I say to them all the while 'why the other team keeps the ball so long in their possession? Because they are patient, they want to make good decisions, they have pride in passing that ball and the movement of the ball is so good'.”

The assistant coach noted that squad selection could have been handled differently, with a mind to having taller options on the court when facing certain opposition.

“Another thing is the tall players in the mid-court for most of the teams. So if they cannot pass it [the ball] flat and fast, they will get it over the top. We have too many short players concentrated in our attacking area and it is going to affect us right throughout if we don't fix it,” he explained.

The assistant coach insisted, however, that the technical staff and the players are doing their utmost to finish the tournament in the best possible way.

“We had meetings since we lost those games and we tried to correct some of the things. As coaches you have to repeat the things over and over. Overall, the team has picked it up. We want to end on a high note and we want to tell people that Jamaica is still one of the best nations in netball,” Nevers told the Observer.


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