Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Aiken set for Sunshine Girls return

Published:Monday | December 25, 2017 | 12:55 AMRobert Bailey

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls interim coach Sasher-Gaye Henry confirmed that high profile goal shooter Romelda Aiken has made herself available for next year’s Quad Series and Commonwealth Games championships. 

Henry told The Gleaner that Aiken has indicated that she is willing to return to the Sunshine Girls setup and as such, she will be considered for selection.   

“Romelda has definitely shown an interest into being back into the squad and she has started her preparations in terms of her training,” said Henry.  

“We are looking forward for the best team and so Romelda is a good asset and if she is playing very well and if she has the capacity to take on the role, then definitely Romelda will be a part of the team for the Quad Series and then the Commonwealth Games,” Henry said.  

Aiken and Netball Jamaica were embroiled in a war of words after the player failed to make herself available for the Sunshine Girls away series against New Zealand last September over a pay dispute.

This led to the towering player being overlooked by the Sunshine Girls' selectors for the Fast5 World Series in Melbourne, Australia, the following month.

Aiken also missed the Sunshine Girls' 2-1 series win over rivals England, which led to fears that she would not represent Jamaica again.

The Quad Series includes hosts New Zealand, Malawi and Fiji and will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from March 21-24, which is two weeks before the start of the Commonwealth Games,  which will be held in Australia from April 4-15

Henry, who played alongside Aiken for the Sunshine Girls at a number of major international championships, warned that the player will have to work hard to regain her spot in the national team.  

"She will be on trail just like the other players ... we haven’t seen her playing in a while with the national team,” said Henry. 

“She has a lot of experience because and you know that she is one of the best players in the world and so the expectations are high for her and I know that she has the quality to make this team,” she said. “But there are other girls, who are also vying for spots on the team and so we just hope to have the best team."  

She stated that Aiken, who is currently based in Australia, has been training on her own. 

"She is not a part of this training squad and so her training will be in Australia just the others,” Henry said.  

“Most of our girls will leave in January and so they will not be in this squad and we will not see them again until March when we get to the Quad Series in New Zealand,” she added.