Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Oberon Pitterson-Nattie, coach of Jamaica's Under-21 team which captured bronze at this year's World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, has lauded the girls for their performance at the championships.
"I am extremely proud of the ladies, because it was hard work from them," Pitterson-Nattie said shortly after the team arrived home yesterday at the Norman Manley International Airport.
"I have to give them kudos, and I have to thank them, because without their performance we wouldn't be smiling today," she said.
The junior Sunshine Girls captured the bronze medal by defeating arch-rivals England 52-33 in the third-place play-off on Sunday. New Zealand won the gold medal by defeating defending champions Australia in the final. The Jamaicans were beaten by New Zealand in the semi-finals, but according to Pitterson-Nattie, the girls tried their best.
"I think the good thing about this tournament is that every day the girls improved and they got better," Pitterson-Nattie. "I have to take my hat off to the defence, because they were solid throughout the championships and I really couldn't ask for anything more from them."
Pitterson-Nattie, who is also the coach of Jamaica's senior team, added that she gained a lot of knowledge from the championships and that it would help her with the national senior team.
In addition, she said the tournament proved to be an eye-opener for the girls because they also learnt a lot from it.
"I think this will help them to make the transition to the senior squad a lot easier and, hopefully, what they have learnt, they will take it to the senior level, and so I am looking for good things from them."
Meanwhile, Jamaica's captain Vangelee Williams, who was one the most outstanding defenders at the tournament, said they were happy for the bronze medal.
"We are very delighted," said Williams. "I think we did extremely well throughout the tournament despite us not getting the the gold or silver medal."