No rest for Sunshine Girls
Sunshine Girls head coach, Minette Reynolds, declared yesterday that there will be no rest for the national team this festive season, as they look to intensify their preparations ahead of their three-Test home series against archrivals England next month.
The opening match is set for Saturday, January 10, the second game a day later, and the final match on Tuesday, January 13.
"We cannot afford to take a break while our opponents are in competition," Reynolds told The Gleaner.
"Preparation has been intense, and I am expecting it to continue during the Christmas celebrations, because England, at the moment, are in a competitive series with Malawi and so they are getting a lot of practice ahead of the series against us," Reynolds said.
The series will be Jamaica's only warm-up matches against teams that are ranked higher than the local girls heading into next year's World Netball Championship. The Sunshine Girls are ranked fourth in the world, one place below their English counterparts.
"As a team, we need to remain focused and continue to train hard in every area on court," she said. "It's a crucial series because it is part of our buildup for the World Championships next year, and so we want to see what our girls are capable of doing while playing in different positions on court," Reynolds said.
The Sunshine Girls will be away from the coach from December 23 to 29. But Reynolds said that each player will be given their own training routine, which they must follow while they are away.
"During this break, they will be doing work on their own because we cannot allow ourselves to get complacent and so we just have to continue to work hard and stay focused," Reynolds said.
Reynolds expects a competitive series against England.
"We have not played them since the Fast5 World Series when we weren't at full strength, and so this is a big part of our preparations for the World Championships, to see what we need to work on for the rest of the period," she said.
"It is going to be a very competitive series, but I know that my girls will be up for the challenge and so I am expecting a very exciting series," Reynolds noted.