Netball

Sunshine Girls prepared to give of their best, says coach Marvette Anderson

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Marvette Anderson, the head coach of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, says her players are prepared to put their all on the line in the medal quest at the 2019 Netball World Cup.

The Jamaicans, who recently climbed one spot to number two on the International Netball Federation world rankings, are slated to clash with number 17-ranked Fiji on Friday's opening day of competition at the ACC Liverpool.

“The players are upbeat, they know the challenge that's at hand, and they know it's not going to be easy. But everybody is ready and willing to put their all out there,” Anderson told the Jamaica Observer moments before a team meeting in Liverpool yesterday evening.

Jamaica, who have never done better than third at the World Cup, tied up bronze medal finishes in 2003 and 2007, but had to settle for fourth place in 2011 and 2015.

“We have not had a medal in a World Championship for a while, so the ladies are conscious of that. We would love to be among the medal contenders, but we're going to be taking it one day at a time. We're here to compete and I think the ladies are just going to give a good account of themselves,” said the Jamaica coach.

Top-ranked Australia, the defending three-time champions, have won seven of the last nine world titles. Current number four team New Zealand won the other two over the period, while England have never lifted the world title.

At the Commonwealth Games in April last year, the Sunshine Girls won bronze, while England stunned hosts Australia in the gold medal match.

In a home series last October, Jamaica swept to a 3-0 win against an under -strength England side.

Anderson noted that the current core has been gradually piecing together good performances in recent years. However, she is not about to get carried away.

“The team has been improving, the last couple of years. It started about 2016 and it has continued. We're ready to take on whatever challenges that come and we are confident, but not over-confident.

“Beating England, yes, we are happy that we did that, but I'm sure that the England team that we saw last year is not going to be the same team. We have to take each game for what it's worth, and that's exactly what we are going to do because last year is gone,” she cautioned.

The team only arrived in Liverpool yesterday after spending over a week camped in Manchester.

Anderson said it offered a welcome opportunity to build chemistry and explore different team compositions.

“It was a pretty good camp. We were able to work on varying combinations, work on some practical plays, so all in all I think it was good. We were able to fine-tune, and all of that.

“It was the first time that the full squad was coming together, so we had a number of things we needed to work on. We played two practice games, so we were able to put out varying combinations — things that we wanted to look at and work on,” she told the Observer.

While not giving specifics of the practice results against the local teams, the Sunshine Girls head coach said the exercise reaped tactical benefits.

“I was pretty satisfied — the fact that we were using different combinations and were able to score over 60 goals on both occasions. It augurs well and shows that we are in the right place.

“For us, it was more about looking at what we have and how we are going to move forward. I think defensively we were good. We were able to limit our opponents to a number of goals per quarter — that's what we were working on and it worked out well for us,” Anderson said.

Squad: Jhaniele Fowler (captain), Vangelee Williams (vice captain), Shanice Beckford, Adean Thomas, Jodi-Ann Ward, Rebekah Robinson, Shamera Sterling, Stacian Facey, Kadian Dehaney, Nicole Dixon, Khadijah Williams, Romelda Aiken.


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