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Australia U21s expect 'very tough series'

Published:Thursday | November 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
President of the Jamaica Netball Association, Marva Bernard (fourth right), talks to Australian captain Madeleine Proud (right) and coach Carol Byers (second right), while other members of their team look on following their arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport on Tuesday. - Gladstone Taylor/Photographer

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Australia's Under-21 netball coach, Carol Byers, said they are expecting a difficult series from their Jamaican counterparts when both teams clash in tomorrow's opening game of their three-Test series at the National Arena.

The second game takes place on Saturday, while the final match will be played on Sunday.

"We are expecting a very tough series against the Jamaicans," said Byers, following their arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport on Tuesday.

"The Jamaicans are always really fierce competition for us, and so it is about preparing and learning about the players that they have over here, and also their style of play," said Byers.

The Australians, who are coming off a three-series win over Caribbean side Trinidad and Tobago, will enter the series against the Jamaicans oozing confidence.

"They are confident because we have just been to Trinidad and Tobago and we have played a three-Test series against their Under-21 team, and that helps us bond together as a group.

"We expect the competition to be tougher and so we want to make sure that we are pushing ourselves to get better and better," she noted.

difficult to beat

Continuing, Byers said: "We've got a wealth of talent in our team and we are glad to expose them. We have a mixture of height and mobility in our team and it will be interesting to see how they go up against the Jamaicans."

Byers admits knowing little about the Jamaicans and believes that it is going to be very difficult to beat them on their home turf.

"We know that there are a few them who played at the recent Fast5 Series, but I don't know a lot about some of their younger players," Byers said.

"I know that Jamaica is all about preparing for the World Youth Championships next year as well, and so I am expecting it to be extremely tough for us," she said.

Meanwhile, Madeleine Proud, captain of the Australian team, said they are charged up for the series.

"We are really excited and we are looking forward to getting a taste of the Jamaican style of netball," said Proud.

"Hopefully, we can get a win under our belt and also to get a really good hit out on the court and to get to know what the Jamaica style of play is like."

Both teams will be using the series as part of their preparations for the World Youth Netball Championships, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, next August.