'We're coming home with a medal'
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Simone Forbes, captain of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, is very confident they are going to win a medal at next month's Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Delhi, India.
Forbes, who along with members of Sunshine Girls departed the island on Monday morning for the Games, said they are very optimistic and raring to go.
"We are coming home with a medal," said Forbes, who will be playing in her third Commonwealth Games for the Jamaicans. "We want the gold medal, but we know that it is going to very difficult for us to win based on the strength of the top two teams in world.
"However, we fear no one and we are going to do whatever it takes to bring home a medal," Forbes said.
The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, finished in a similar position at the last Commonwealth Games, which was held in Manchester, England.
The host nation at that staging, England, marginally beat Jamaica to claim bronze. The English are ranked number three in the world behind world champions New Zealand, and Australia, the number two team, which will be participating at the Commonwealth Games.
The 29-year-old Forbes, who represents local club Waulgrovians, added that the Jamaican team has been gelling well and everyone is in high spirits.
"We know our capabilities as a team and we know that we are going there to do well based on that win against England and so we are all confident going into this Commonwealth Games," Forbes said.
The Sunshine Girls played to a 1-1 draw against England in their last competitive assignment earlier this month during the two-Test National Commercial Bank Sunshine Series.
Forbes noted that head coach Connie Francis, along with other members of her coaching staff, has been working on strategic plays and off-the- ball movements and it has gone well for them because they recently defeated a strong national male team in a practice match.
"They used everyone just to see the different combinations we have and what works best for us and what does not," Forbes said. "The training has gone well because it has been very productive and all the players have been doing their best, working very hard and we're anticipating a very good Commonwealth Games," she said.
The Jamaican squad includes the inexperienced pair of goal shooter Janelle Fowler and wing attack Kimone Tulloch, who will making their first overseas trip with the Sunshine Girls.
"These are not rookies any more because they don't play like rookie players anymore," Forbes said. "They have fitted into the team and I expect them to give a good performance for us at the Commonwealth Games," Forbes said.
The full squad is Simone Forbes, Nadine Bryan, Kimone Tulloch, Janelle Fowler, Kasey Evering, Althea Byfield, Georgia Gordon, Nicole Aiken, Romelda Aiken, Sahser-Gaye Henry, Ann-Kay Griffiths and Puala Thompson.