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'Perfect opportunity' - Walker says chance to play in England could not have come at a better time

Published:Thursday | January 3, 2013 | 12:00 AM

 Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

National representative Vanessa Walker is of the belief that her recent signing with the Loughborough Lightning in England's Superleague for the 2013 season could not have come at a better time.

"This opportunity was perfect as I just finished my degree at Mico," said Walker, in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

Walker was not only referring to the freedom she now has to pursue her career opportunities, but has twinned that with academic pursuits as well.

"The aim is to broaden my experience and build my academic profile for the foreseeable future," the 22-year-old Walker pointed out.

"Playing overseas is a big step for me and I'm excited. It's something different - it also proves that my skills have drawn the attention of overseas coaches."

The 22-year-old Walker last represented Mico University College in the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Berger Paints Super League last season.

She last represented the Sunshine Girls in a three-Test series against England in the United Kingdom last September, which the Jamaicans lost 2-1.

Walker will join fellow countrywoman Afrika Morris on the Loughborough Lightning roster this season.

"She (Morris) has been playing for this team for the past two years," said Walker of her former national Under-21 teammate. "This is where she also completed her Masters (degree)."

Senior team aspirations

Walker noted that she would be using the experience of playing in the Superleague to secure the seemingly impossible target of earning a permanent spot in the Sunshine Girls senior team, as they generally choose different players for the many different competition formats.

"Securing a permanent position on the team is unattainable - it comes with hard work and great commitment that is needed for every selection process.

"We have a mixture of players who bring something different to the table on all occasions," she stated.

"I enjoy playing for my country, as such, I considered this an active break with the outlook to learn new skills that could potentially assist my fellow teammates."