Sunshine Girl Fowler skips Fast5 World Series
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Sunshine Girls head coach Minnette Reynolds believes that the absence of ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler from next month's team to the Fast5 World Netball Series will not affect their chances of winning a medal at the championships, which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, November 8-9.
The Gleaner was informed by a member of the netball Jamaica hierarchy that Fowler has decided to withdraw from the tournament in order to spend time with her husband and young daughter.
The Sunshine Girls finished third in last year's tournament, and Reynolds is hoping for a much improved performance this time around.
"She won't be going and so we just have to make good with who we have," said Reynolds. "We won't fuss too much about Jhaniele not going and so we just have to learn to work with who we have available to us.
"We have to move on because she could have been in Australia or New Zealand and opted not to go, but she is here and she will not be participating for us in this Fast5."
Continuing, Reynolds said: "All the players in training are capable of making the Fast5 team and representing us well in New Zealand."
Despite the absence of Fowler, the Sunshine Girls attack will be led by the vastly experienced Romelda Aiken as well as last year's Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Thristina Harwood.
Reynolds, however, added that they will not be relying on any individual player.
"Romelda will be there, but we are not looking to any particular player because all 10 girls will be representing us well at the tournament," said Reynolds.
"We are hoping for the best, because anything can happen. It is called Fast5 and it is anybody's game, we can finish third or anywhere else and so it all depends on how well they compete in the tournament," she said.
Reynolds noted that their preparations leading into the tournament have somewhat been affected by the outbreak of the chikungunga virus.
"Our preparations have been going quite well, except for the chick-V, which has affected us on a weekly basis because we have three or four girls who can't attend training as a result of this virus," Reynolds informed.