Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls head coach, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie, has vowed that they will do all they can to win the Fast5 Netball World Series as they seek to finish the year on a high.
"This is a tournament that is up for grabs and we hope that we can grab it," said Pitterson-Nattie during a press conference at the Knustford Court hotel yesterday.
"We have worked hard and we really want to win this," she added.
The series will be held in New Zealand from November 9-11, with the top six teams qualifying automatically. The Sunshine Girls are scheduled to leave on November 3 and will return on November 13.
Pitterson-Nattie said that it has been a rough year for Jamaica's netball, but the Sunshine Girls have managed to hang in there and she is confident they will give a good account of themselves.
"We are going out there to show that we can be competitive and, hopefully, the result will speak for itself," Pitterson-Nattie said.
"It is new for everyone because we haven't seen how it is played. We have only played it among ourselves, but certainly when we get to Auckland, we will do what it will take to perform well and to just display that we understand netball," said Pitterson-Nattie, noting her players are full of optimism.
"They are confident and they have always been confident. They know what the task is and they want to do well. They struggle at times with consistency, but they are confident."
Goal shooter Romelda Aiken has been ruled out of the championships because of a hand injury and the coach says her absence is a big loss.
"Romelda is a huge loss for us, but we have to go on, and so Patricia is next, so we just have to work what we have," Pitterson-Nattie said of Aiken's replacement, Patricia McCalla.
"I am expecting good stuff from Patricia because she has been with the squad for over a year now, and so has garnered some experience, and I am hoping that she will put it out there when we get to Auckland."
The Jamaica team will be captain by Nadine Bryan and includes Jhaniele Fowler, who is rated as one of the best shooters in the world, along with Anna-Kay Griffiths, Kimone Tulloch and Malysha Kelly, who also played at the last World Netball Championships, in Singapore last year. The other members of the squad are Sasha-Gay Lynch, Shamera Sterling, Vangelee Williams and Shantal Slater.