Wed | Aug 23, 2017

All the way up - Sunshine Girls coach wants to rule the world

Published:Friday | April 7, 2017 | 4:00 AMRobert Bailey
Dr Paula Daley-Morrison (right) president of Netball Jamaica greets Jermaine Allison-McCracken, Sunshine Girls head coach at the Social Development Foundation office yesterday.

Head coach of the Sunshine Girls, Englishwoman Jermaine Allison-McCracken, has declared that she will do whatever it takes to help move the number-four ranked team to the top of the world rankings.

Allison-McCracken was introduced to the media by Netball Jamaica (NJ) at a press conference held at the Social Development Foundation yesterday, a month after she was appointed to the hot seat.

One of her first tasks, she said, is to improve the players physically and mentally.

"There is nothing better than sitting in this seat right now. I am so pleased to be on board with these girls. I saw them last night (Wednesday) and they are working hard and I know that they are going to work a lot harder. I know that I am going to see physical improvements. I am going to see mental improvements and mental toughness because that is my specialist area.

"What I have done over the past 30-40 years is to coach netball for fun, but now I can take it seriously and bring all my expertise in terms of my professional training, as well as my passion for netball and put them all together in my dream job in a paradise island," added Allison-McCracken.

 

TOUGH JOB

 

She admitted that it will be tough to get Jamaica up to the pinnacle of world netball.

"It is a very tough job but any international coach will have a tough job," she said.

"There are some tough decisions to make ahead but I am not going to make any of these by myself because I have Sasher-Gaye (Henry), who is my assistant and I have a really big support team and I will be using and drawing on all their expertise."

According to her, she is very familiar with the Sunshine Girls' style of play and so this is going to make it much easier for her to work with the Jamaican players.

"I have watched these Sunshine Girls over the past 20 years because anytime they are on TV, I am always tuned in," she said. "I analyse their games, I know how they play. I am an avid fan and now I am the coach."

Allison-McCracken, who is of Jamaican parentage, brings to the position substantial training in the areas of sports psychology and netball coaching. She also holds a United Kingdom Level 2 coaching certificate.