‘A backward step’ - Daley-Morris reacts to Sunshine Girls World Cup horror show
President of Netball Jamaica (NJ), Dr Paula Daley-Morris, said her association is deeply hurt and shocked by the Sunshine Girls’ poor performances at the ongoing Vitality Netball World Cup here.
The Sunshine Girls, who were one of the favourites for the gold medal, entered the championships on a high having moved up one spot to second place in the world rankings a week before the start of the tournament.
However, they are now on the verge of missing out on a place in the semi-finals for the first time since 1995 after back-to-back defeats against South Africa (55-52) and hosts England (56-48).
In fact, the Sunshine Girls must win their remaining two matches and hope that both South Africa and England lose their final two games. In the unlikely event that this happens, the team would still have to hope for a favourable goal average, effectively ending their chances of advancing to the semis and shooting for a medal.
A disheartened Daley-Morris is still coming to grips with the reality that the Girls will likely be playing for fifth place in the tournament, a far cry from their ambitions when they arrived.
“The outcome is what it is. We lost to England and South Africa and so having lost two games in the preliminary round, it means that we are not going to be in the semi-final round unless England and South Africa, lose two matches, and we know that is not going to happen,” said Daley-Morris.
“It is a backward step and I am not proud to be the president that has to deal with this, but I have to deal with it and the fact of the matter is that we let the country down and I sincerely apologise for that,” Daley-Morris added
The president also hinted that there will be changes to the Sunshine Girls coaching staff after the championships.
“We were equal to the task, we fell asleep on the job and the results are what they are,” she said. “Lot of changes will be made; we cannot go forward with the way things are.”
“It is not that we don’t have a good team. We have the best defender in the world, we have the best shooter in the world and we have a swift centre court, and we have girls that are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the game,” she said. “This outcome could not be predicted by any of us. We would not have expected it and so we would have to sit down and make some tough decisions because this country is depending on us to do well.”
Meanwhile, the Sunshine Girls are set to face Scotland today, starting at 11 a.m. (Jamaica time).