Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Under-21 netballers will begin their quest for a medal at the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland when they oppose Samoa at 1:15 p.m. (Jamaica time) today.
The Oberon Pitterson-Nattie-coached junior Sunshine Girls who will oppose Scotland in their second encounter tomorrow, arrived in Glasgow on Tuesday, oozing with confidence ahead of the championships.
MEDAL IN MIND
"We certainly want to leave with a medal. We have worked hard with that in mind," Pitterson-Nattie said.
"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," she added.
"First, we want to defend that third-place position and then, hopefully, get a better ranking at the end of the championships," she 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," the Jamaican coach 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.
Cayman Islands and Wales are the other teams in Jamaica's group.
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. 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."