Revenge! - Sunshine Girls look to get better of England
With the one-point defeat to rivals England Roses in the semi-finals at this year's Commonwealth Games still etched in their minds, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls will be seeking revenge against their fierce rivals, when both teams meet in the opening match of their three-Test Lasco Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Centre starting at 7:00 p.m.
The Jamaicans are ranked fourth in the world, two places below England.
The Marvette Anderson-coached team will be high on confidence entering today's series opener, having defeated the English girls 2-1 in a three-Test series in 2016 in England, and should be further energised after defeating Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in a two-Test series, which ended on Tuesday at the same venue.
Anderson said the girls are very confident going into the England assignment and she is expecting a good performance from the team.
"The ladies know where they are and what they need to do and I think they will be ready for the game," said Anderson. "We still remember that one-point defeat at the Commonwealth Games and so we are coming with that in the back of our minds, not to focus on that, but to win the game because we know that we have the team to do it."
Anderson added that she is very happy that they are playing this series at home, because it will help to boost the Sunshine Girls' confidence ahead of next year's Netball World Cup, which will be held in Liverpool, England.
"These ladies love playing netball because it is about representing their country, it is about representing themselves and their family and so they will be up to the task and they will be ready for Thursday's (today's) game," Anderson pointed out.
The Sunshine Girls will be led by captain and shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, along with goal attack Shanice Beckford. Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams and Vangelee Williams are the mid-court players, while defence will be anchored by Shamera Sterling, Stacian Facey and Kadie-Ann Dehaney.
Meanwhile, England's coach Tracey Neville said her team is ready to put on a good showing in the series.
"I am feeling good because we had a close game against them at the Commonwealth Games to get into the gold medal play-off and so we know that they are going to come out hard against us," said Neville.
"We are in the early stages of our international calendar and we want to look at players as we prepare for the World Cup. There are some new players and young players out here with us. We are ready to play against them (Sunshine Girls) and give them a good challenge," she said.