Fowler-Reid among high-powered Sunshine Girls additions
Star shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid is among three players who have been added to the Jamaica Sunshine Girls team to this year's Fast5 World Series, replacing Sherema Sterling, Shantal Slater, and Zonasha Hinds, who were denied US visas two weeks ago.
Former captain Malysha Kelly and veteran player Paula Thompson are the other players who have been brought into the Sunshine Girls team for the tournament, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia , from October 28-29.
Fowler-Reid had initially indicated to the Sunshine Girls coaching staff that she would only be available for the Caribbean Netball Championships and not the Fast5 Series as both tournaments would be held in the same month, which would have caused her to miss a number of classes at the Mico University College, where she is currently studying.
However, the Caribbean tournament, which was scheduled for October 8-16 in St Lucia, was cancelled last month due to the unavailability of some of the teams, and Fowler-Reid has since indicated her willingness to represent the country in the Fast5 competition.
Kelly and Thompson were also members of the squad preparing for the Caribbean Championships and not the Fast5 tournament.
Communications director of Netball Jamaica, Wayne Lewis, said the addition of the three players would add a lot of strength and depth to the Sunshine Girls unit, who will be aiming to win the championships for the first time.
"I think that with Jhaniele Fowler-Reid in our team, our chances must be better because she is an excellent player," said Lewis.
"She would have been there from the outset if she had made herself available, (but) she decided to play in the Caribbean Championships instead based on her school commitment," he said.
"It augers well for us because they are excellent players and they are very influential players in the team, and they have been around Jamaica's netball for quite some time, so it can only put us in a much better position in terms of strengthening our team.Our expectations have been heightened going into the tournament," Lewis added.
Lewis also confirmed that Fowler-Reid would captain the Sunshine Girls team at the championships Down Under.
"She accepted the challenge of leading the team to the Fast5, and we are very happy about that. She is very respected in the team, very influential, and the players look up to her a great deal, so we are quite happy that she will be there."