Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Nervous Dehaney gears up for new experience in Australia

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM
National Under-21 and senior Sunshine Girl Kadie-Ann Dehaney (right) signs a professional contract for Australia’s Melbourne Vixens netball team at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seminar Room. Looking on is President of Netball Jamaica, Dr Paula Daley-Morris.

MICO University College's Kadie-Ann Dehaney is the latest Jamaican netballer to go the professional route, as the former St Hugh's High player has been offered a one-year contract to play for Melbourne Vixens in the Australia National League.

The 20-year-old Dehaney, who will leave the island in a few weeks' time, will join two other Jamaicans in the Australian league, which is set to begin in February next year.

Malysha Kelly, who recently captained the Sunshine Girls in the recent three-match series against New Zealand, in New Zealand, will take up a one-year contract with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, while shooter Romelda Aiken has been a member of the Queensland Firebirds since 2008.

Five other Jamaicans will also ply their trade in England soon.

Dehaney, who started her netball career at Melrose Junior High School and who has represented Molynes United since her early days at Melrose, is excited for the opportunity to go overseas, but has mixed feelings.

"I am nervous and I am puzzled because it will be a new culture for me. But at the same time it will be a great experience because I've always wanted to play at the highest level," said Dehaney.

She continued: "I was looking forward to representing Mico at the Inter-collegiate level because this would have been a new challenge for me after doing so well at the high school level and after going through orientation and meeting a lot of new friends it is kind of sad not to be spending more time with them."

Dehaney, who will be the youngest Jamaican to go on a professional netball contract, is still keen on education.

"Academics is very important to me and I want to know that when I go there I can still continue with my schooling as I do not want to know that my friends are moving forward here and I am falling back, so this is something I will be making sure to continue when I leave," said Dehaney.

She pointed out that she thought twice before taking this decision, noting that her grandmother played a key role.

Despite her tender age, Dehaney has had international experience as part of the successful Jamaica Under-16 team which toured Birmingham, England for a three-match series in 2012; Jamaica senior team that participated in the World Cup last year in Australia; and Jamaica's Under 21 team which played against England in a five-match series last summer.

President of Netball Jamaica, Dr. Paula Daley-Morris, says the move augurs well for the country's netball.

"I am very elated that Kadie-Ann has gotten the opportunity to go overseas to play because this is what we need for our players, for them to play consistently at the highest level as this will only help them to get better," said Daley-Morris.

"Definitely the experience will do her a whole lot of good and it is also good for netball in the country when several of these players can get contracts to go overseas and play. This is telling us that people are looking on our netball and I am happy that I am at the helm and hopefully after getting all the experience these players will come back and represent the country of their birth," noted Daley-Morris.