Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Birds, Spurs clash in netball's Elite League

Published:Friday | March 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Humming Birds' Harwood

Defending champions Kingston Humming Birds and the Manchester Spurs will clash in today's opening match of the 2015 staging of the Berger Paints Elite Netball League.

The match, which will be played at the Leila Robinson Courts, is set to start at 7:30 p.m. following a 6:30 p.m. opening ceremony. The league was originally scheduled to tip off last Friday, but was postponed due to the smoke nuisance caused by the Riverton City Landfill fire.

Today's match is a repeat of last year's semi-final, when Humming Birds came out winners over the Spurs.

The Humming Birds, who are seeking their second consecutive hold on the trophy, will be guided by new coach Marvette Anderson.

A former national Under-16 head coach, Anderson took over the reins from Sylvester Campbell. She will assisted by Roy Pryce.

"It should be a good game," said Anderson. "The fact that we started (training) a bit late, the team has not got an opportunity to gel as we would like, but we are professionals, and so expect to come and give a good account of ourselves," she said.

 

LOSS OF PLAYERS

 

The Humming Birds have lost the services of Elaine Davis and Sade Ffrench, who have opted out of this year's competition due to personal reasons.

However, they have acquired the likes of Shanique McFarlane, Kimberly Thomas and Nalika Watson.

National players Thristina Harwood, Mellisa Josephs and Stacian Facey are also expected to play a vital role for the Humming Birds today.

On the other hand, the Spurs' coach, Carline Graham, said her team is confident and ready.

"Persons have been coming to training; they are very excited and they want to win," said Graham.

The Spurs' team has been boosted by the inclusion of centre Trishana Hanson, who was the MVP of the recently concluded JN/Sunshine League, as well as Nicole Dixon, who is a member of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls squad.

They are expected to receive valuable support from national representatives Vangelee Williams and Shantal Slater.