'We need int'l matches'
Sunshine Girls turn attention to World Championships next year
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Marva Bernard, the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) president, said the Sunshine Girls will continue working hard as they now turn their attention to Sydney, Australia for the World Netball Championships next year.
The Jamaica netballers brought an end to 12 years without a medal at the Commonwealth Games, with a scintillating 52-48 victory over England last week in the Games' third-place match.
Bernard was beaming with pride as she greeted journalists upon their arrival and wasted little time in lavishing deserved praise on the entire netball squad for their accomplishment in Glasgow, Scotland.
"The 12-year drought is over, we are extremely, extremely pleased with attaining a third-place finish at the Commonwealth Games," she said.
"We have said we can do great things; all we need is just a little more help to give these girls an opportunity. They have worked really hard and have done something differently with our technical director and the coach," Bernard said.
She noted that they made sacrifices, saying it was worth it, given the hard work the girls had put in to emerge with a bronze medal.
The plan moving forward, according to Bernard, is to continue on the current programme, but under an intensified effort with the World Netball Championships their next big assignment. This, she said will include the playing of a number international practice matches to get the girls ready for that level of competition.
"We need some international matches under our belts, as playing against the boys in practice alone will not do it," said Bernard.
The use of a sports psychologist was another important part of the preparation for their success at the Commonwealth Games, added Bernard, and this will also be utilised for the World Championships.
"This group of girls surely showed Jamaica what some of us knew and one of the things they told themselves was that they knew some people did not believe in them and they used it as added motivation and fuelled the fire that took us straight to the end with England.
"The greatest thing in life is to do the things people say you cannot do and the girls proved that with a big, big victory and I am very proud of them," she said.