Nevers says no to Sunshine Girls job - Suggests Francis be appointed as head coach
Veteran coach Winston Nevers says he has no interest in becoming the next head coach of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, but is publicly endorsing former local star Connie Francis for the post.
The Sunshine Girls ended 2016 without a head coach, after Minneth Reynolds resigned in November, one month before her contract was set to expire. It's understood that the Paula Daley-Morris-led Netball Jamaica administration was leaning to not renew Reynolds' contract, which was signed by the Marva Bernard administration.
Reynolds, who was in the job for just under two-years, guided the Sunshine Girls to a 2-1 series victory over rivals England in the United Kingdom in their last competitive series in November.
In the past, Netball Jamaica had faced criticisms for overlooking the vastly experienced Nevers, but the national Under-16 coaching staff member told The Gleaner that this time around, he has no interest in the top post.
"They have never called me for the senior team before, but if they call me now, I will tell them that I am not interested in the job," said Nevers.
"There are also three reasons why I am not interested in the job. One, right now I am not keeping a good health, and so I have to look at myself first. Secondly, I can't take the plane ride and the travelling, and finally, I am not comfortable in the programme."
Francis, a former national coach, he argued, would be a good choice to replace Reynolds and continue the rebuilding of the national netball programme.
"I think Netball Jamaica should look at Connie Francis because she is the best person now to handle the programme. I think she is ready for the job and she can also get the best out of these players."
He added that Netball Jamaica should appoint a male coach as Francis' assistant in the national team. "I think they should appoint a male coach behind her because they must not make the mistake of not having a male coach in the programme.
"These male coaches have been doing a lot of work in netball and they have been getting the results even more than the female coaches now."
Nevers, who is also affectionately called 'Scrappy' by his players and fellow coaches, has helped nurture the talent of some of the country's most decorated netballers.
Chief among them are world-renowned shooters Elaine Davis and Romelda Aiken, along with national captain Nadine Bryan, Nicole Aiken, sisters Tiffany and Mesha Wolfe, Tasha Morgan, Georgia Gordon, Anna-Marie Grant and Paula Pinnock.
Nevers has guided Jamalco to 16 Netball Jamaica Berger Paints titles, as well as 17 Jamaica National Building Society Senior League trophies.