Allison-McCracken: We needed more time to prepare
Sunshine Girls head coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken has blamed a short preparation time for Jamaica's below par performance in the just- concluded three-Test netball series against Barbados.
The series ended level at 1-1 as the local girls were beaten 43-41 in the final Test on Monday at the National Arena. The first match ended in 44-44 tie while the Sunshine Girls won the second game 40-34.
Allison-McCracken, who has come in for much criticism in recent weeks after she sent home three senior players, has been in charge of the Sunshine Girls team since March.
The British-born Allison-McCracken said she needed more time to prepare the Sunshine Girls for the series.
"I didn't know much about the Barbados team at all, and there is very little footage around and, so you can't even see them. The only thing that I could do was to prepare the team that I had as well I could in the little time we had," said Allison-McCracken.
"I like to have two to three months (preparation time) leading up to a competition. You can phase it, you can make sure that you have nothing else in the way and you can focus on your netball, so that you can peak as a cohesive team at the right moment," she said.
Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams and Nicole Dixon were the three senior players twho were suspended by Allison-McCracken for what was deemed as inappropriate behaviour.
Allison-McCracken added that the suspensions, along with other off-the-court matters, affected the team's performance during the series.
"There were all sort of things going around ... some of them had exams today (Monday). It was just not the right time (for the series)."
The Sunshine Girls, ranked fourth in the world, were without a number of other senior players for the series, including the likes of Romelda Aiken, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, Malysha Kelly, Vangelee Williams, Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, Kadie-Ann Duhaney, and Paula Thompson.
Allison-McCracken noted that if these players were available for the series, then the results would have been completely different.
"I didn't have the team that I needed at this time because a lot of the Jamaica's first team are out or off the island, but there are maybe some things that I could have done differently," she said.
"It is tough at the top here, and so I am going to have to take the pressure, and I am going to have to go back to the drawing board.