Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Netball Jamaica president, Marva Bernard, is confident that experienced players Romelda Aiken and Paula Thompson will be key players for the Sunshine Girls as they bid to lift next month's Fast5 World Series title.
The Fast5 Championships will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from November 8-10. The Sunshine Girls finished a disappointing fourth at the last tournament, which was held in England.
Aiken, who is one of the top shooters in the world, will be making her first appearance at the championships, while Thompson has rejoined the Sunshine Girls team after a two-year absence. Aiken and defender Malysha Kelly are the co-captains of the Sunshine Girls team.
"I have the confidence in the coaching staff and the experience that Romelda and Jhaniele (Fowler) bring and youth and enthusiasm that the Under-21 players bring, add that to the experience of Malysha (Kelly) and Paula and I think we are going into New Zealand with a strong team," said Bernard.
"I think the camaraderie will be good and they are very focused and determined to go down there and do better than we did last year. I think we will do much better this year," he said.
Bernard added: "Paula is a very strong attacking and defensive player and so she will add to the strength of the team. Romleda is the co-captain and she will be looking to lead the team from in front."
The Sunshine Girls squad also includes five members of the team that won the bronze medal at the recent World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. They are Vangelee Williams, Shamera Sterling, Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams and Thristina Hardwood.
Also in the The Oberon Pitterson-Nattie-coached squad is Vanessa Walker who is regarded as one of the best attacking players in the country.