Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Fowler delighted by ranking climb

Published:Tuesday | December 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
England goalkeeper Ama Agbeze (left) tries her best to intercept a pass to Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler during their third and final Lasco Sunshine Series game at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Jamaica's senior netball team captain Jhaniele Fowler said they are now on a high after moving up one spot, to third, in the latest world rankings, which were published by the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) on December 2.

The Sunshine Girls have a 172 rating, the same as number four-ranked England, while New Zealand are a point ahead on 173. Australia lead the standings with a 211 rating.

The Jamaicans have had a very successful year, which saw them defeating rivals England 3-0 in their home series. They also recorded a 2-0 home series win over fellow Caribbean side Trinidad and Tobago.

Fowler told The Gleaner that their elevation in the rankings is testament to the hard work they have been putting in over the years, and they are now very focused on moving further up the standings.

"Within the camp at the moment, the girls are extremely elated because knowing that we have been fourth for a long period of time, it has not deterred us, but it has made us hungrier to step up to third," she said.

"I think now that we have stepped up, we are happy with the moment, but not comfortable," Fowler said.

The Sunshine Girls, who won bronze at this year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April, also captured silver medal at the Fast5 Netball World Series in October in Melbourne, Australia.

Fowler added that despite the achievements of the Sunshine Girls this year, they are still finding it very difficult to secure the sponsorship.

"I feel that we need some more support, because the lack of support that we are getting is holding us back to some extent, and not allowing us to compete with the top teams like Australia and New Zealand," Fowler said.

"Next year is going to be a very hectic year with training and girls being away from camp with their clubs overseas, but it is a World Championships year, but leading up to this championships, I think we are on a very good path," she said.

"I feel that we will able to do a lot come next year, and we will be a threat to the top teams," Fowler noted.