Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Sunshine Girls racing to get fit

Published:Tuesday | December 17, 2019 | 12:22 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s senior national netball team in a training session at the Leila Robinson Courts in Kingston on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

National senior netball team head coach Connie Francis said that she has been working assiduously to improve the fitness of the Sunshine Girls team ahead of next month’s Quad Series, which involves hosts England, world champions New Zealand and South Africa.

The highly anticipated series will be the first outing for the Sunshine Girls since their fifth-place finish at the Netball World Cup (NWC) which was held in Liverpool, England, in July.

“Our fitness has to improve and our fitness trainer has been working tirelessly with them,” Francis said. “Exams are out of the way now and so they can be at training more often because the exams were really drawback for us and so now we can work on our tactical plays.”

“We will be going up against three good teams and I have to do all the video analysis ahead of the series,” Francis said.

“I have been encouraging them to look at the games that these teams have been playing and I’m certain I will come up with my plans to see how best we can go up against them.”

Squad already decided

Francis, who took over the coaching reins from Marvette Anderson in September, said that the 12-member squad for the Series has already been selected by Netball Jamaica. However, she has refused to confirm the names of the players, saying that a public announcement will be made shortly.

However, The Gleaner understands that goal attack, Rebekah Robinson, who was a member of the team at the NWC, has been left out of the squad which consists of six senior players and six newcomers.

Francis said that despite their limited preparation time for the Series, she is very optimistic that the Sunshine Girls will do well.

“It’s a challenging task because the other countries have already been in match mode and we are in preparation mode,” she said.

“But, I am quite confident that they will do their best because they have been doing their best in training.

“They have been improving, but our only shortcoming is that we have not gotten any international matches. But we have been practising against a male team and it is work in progress.”

The Quad Series will be played from January 19-26 in London, England.