Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Under-21 netball coach, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie, said they are very focused on at least retaining their bronze medal at this year's World Youth Netball Championships (WYNC), which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland from August 22-31.
Pitterson-Nattie told The Gleaner in an interview shortly after their departure for the championships yesterday that the young Sunshine Girls have worked very hard in their preparations for the tournament.
"They have prepared a lot ... they have worked hard and they have managed to respond to the proper training that we have instilled throughout the preparations," said Pitterson-Nattie.
"First, we want to defend that third-place position and then, hopefully, get a better ranking at the end of the championships," she said.
"We certainly want to leave with a medal. We have worked hard with that in mind, we want to come away with a medal," Pitterson-Nattie said.
The Jamaicans will enter this month's competition on a high after recording comprehensive victories over arch-rivals England and Trinidad and Tobago in a triangular series here last month.
"It (series) has given us some confidence and it has also shown us the amount of work that we needed to do in order to get better," Pitterson-Nattie said.
"We looked at those performances and we have added some things. We extended the training and we try to push them to the limit to see how well they will do and they responded well," she said.
The Jamaica Under-21s are drawn in Group C and will play alongside Cayman Islands, Samoa, Wales and Scotland in the preliminaries.
Pitterson-Nattie also said it is going to be very difficult for them to compete with world champions Australia and New Zealand for the gold medal.
"It's a lot of pressure because this is a new team and so we don't have any player returning from the last Under-21 team," Pitterson-Nattie said.
"We know that Australia have quite a few ANZ (Championships) players, which is an added plus for them, and we know that New Zealand have quite a few players in the ANZ too and so for them that's a plus."
She added: "We know it's going to be tough, but I think we are ready for the task. The competition will be there and we certainly have to stand up to it if we are to do well."