Netball

Bubbly Sunshine Girls head to Liverpool ahead of Netball World Cup

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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MANCHESTER, England — Jamaica's Sunshine Girls depart for Liverpool today a buoyant bunch ahead of the Netball World Cup, scheduled to run from July 12-21.

The Jamaicans, captained by Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, are set to face Fiji on Friday's opening day of competition at the ACC Liverpool, a multi-purpose event and convention venue in the north-west English city.

“The vibe and mood are positive and exciting. We are truly excited for this World Cup to start,” vice-captain Vangelee Williams told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“I'm quite humbled to be a part of the leadership group for this set of ladies, [and] it's a humbling feeling heading into the World Cup,” added Williams, who has captained the team in the past.

She said the camp in Manchester was valuable for applying finishing touches to preparation, as well as to integrate overseas-based team members who were not able to attend local camps.

“It was very important because it provided us the opportunity to have all 12 players in the same space, because we didn't have the girls that ply their trade in Australia for the process up to selection,” Williams explained.

Jamaica were fourth at the 2011 and 2015 editions after securing bronze-medal finishes in 2003 and 2007.

But over the past year or two there have been positive signs.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, Jamaica claimed bronze behind winners England. Australia took second place.

Last October, the Sunshine Girls swept to a 3-0 victory against the touring Englishwomen.

And only a week ago the updated International Netball Federation world rankings saw Jamaica, coached by Marvette Anderson, climb one spot to number two.

With title holders Australia winning seven of the last nine championships since 1983, and New Zealand the other two, Williams hinted that she and her teammates are targeting the ultimate prize.

“We want to make ourselves proud because we've been trying so hard to crack the barrier. We owe it to ourselves to produce quality netball,” she ended.

—Sanjay Myers


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