Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Sunshine Girls to leave for NZ tour tomorrow

Published:Friday | September 2, 2016 | 9:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Eight members of the Sunshine Girls squad who will leave the island tomorrow for New Zealand for a Three-Test series. From left: Shanice Beckford, Shantal Slater, Rebekah Robinson, Abbeygail Linton, team sponsor mascot Mr Chicken, Adean Thomas, Shamera Sterling, Malysha Kelly (captain) and Vangelee Williams (vice captain).  Missing are Kerry-Ann Brown, Nicole Dixon, Stacian Facey and Vanessa Walker.

A 12-member Jamaican netball squad will soon be soon its way to New Zealand for a three-match tour starting on September 11. Led by four ladies who represented Jamaica in last year's Netball World Cup, this squad will leave the island tomorrow and will arrive on New Zealand on September 5. Paula Daley-Morris, the president of Netball Jamaican says the tour is an important part of the team's preparations for the next Netball World Cup in 2019.

The 12 travelling players are: Nicole Dixon, Shanice Beckford, Vangalee Williams and Stacian Facey who were on the 2015 World Cup squad, Shantal Slater, Rebekah Robinson, Vanessa Walker, Adean Thomas, Kerry-Ann Brown, Malysha Kelly, Shamera Sterling and Abbeygail Linton.

Daley-Morris said the New Zealand tour is the first in a series Netball Jamaica hopes to undertake.

"We know the importance of playing against the top five in the world to ensure that we, at least, keep apace with them," she advised at a tour launch at the National Stadium on August 31. Citing limited opportunities to tour the home of the number two team in the world, she said, "so we're very grateful that New Zealand opted to invite us to play them and that they have assisted us tremendously to get there."

Star shooters Romelda Aiken and Jhanelle Fowler were not available for selection.

Minneth Reynolds will continue as coach of the team with retired Sunshine Girl Sasher-Gaye Henry serving as assistant coach.

The touring Jamaican girls will be in action on September 11, 14 and 17.