Changes expected as Sunshine Girls hunt 2nd win against Calypso GirlsTuesday, October 19, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis says she hopes that for today's second game against Trinidad and Tobago's Calypso Girls her team will produce a more fluent performance, particularly in the shooting circle.
Though her Sunshine Girls won the opening contest 71-22, Francis had expressed her discontent with certain aspects of the team's game and pointed out that the changes she will be instituting are an attempt to remedy those issues as they hunt a 2-0 lead in the three-match series being played in honour of former Netball Jamaica President Margaret Beckford.
Game time is 6:00 pm at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
“I know we are more than capable of winning, but when you have players who have not played together in a long time it is possible that you will have mishaps.
“But this game provides another opportunity for us to do better and be better. We won't start with Jhaniele [Fowler] as the shooter, which means multiple movements on court and setting screens and so on will be required to get the ball in a comfortable position to shoot,” Francis told the Jamaica Observer.
“The fact that we are starting tomorrow (today) with a smaller line-up means we will have to push the ball around some more. I know we are capable of keeping the ball, but definitely our shooting has to step up,” she added.
With ace shooter and captain Fowler expected to come off the bench, Francis pointed out that she will be aiming to capitalise on the versatility of Shadian Hemmings, who is a capable of playing goal-attack, as well as being a defender.
“I always thought she is a fantastic player, she is a learning player, and she is willing to give of her best at all times. She relishes a challenge and I know she is more than capable of doing well,” Francis said of Hemmings.
“I have been working very closely with her on her game and I can see great improvement. She is a force to be reckoned with and I want to use her in multiple positions to see what she can do. So, certainly, tomorrow we will expose her to another position,” the coach declared.
That all her players are injury-free and well-recuperated is a major positive for Francis's game plan to explore different combinations in the build-up to an even tougher assignment against England next month.
“I can tell you that our doctors, physiotherapist and masseuse are working round the clock with the ladies. They are in a bubble, so they are being attended to and we have done all that is necessary to ensure that they are ready for the game,” she explained.
“And like I said, we reviewed the first game and thought that there are aspects of the game that we need to improve on, especially our shooting which was really below par.
“We hope to improve in that area and give players an opportunity to get in some game time and to see if we can continue to do well as a defensive unit with different players on court,” Francis noted.
Meanwhile, her Trinidadian counterpart Althea McCollin is also optimistic that her number 10-ranked Calypso Girls will put in a much better showing against their number four-ranked rivals.
“We are coming out to do our best. We trust that Kalifa [McCollin] will be able to come out and the shooters need to press on to the goal more.
“When the ball is in the circle, we need to go for goal instead of the passes and lessen the passes around the circle. We need the ball to feed into the circle more so that the shooters can do their thing because their average in the circle is very good, so they need to put up the goals,” McCollin stated.