Aiken ready to play anywhere for Sunshine Girls
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Top shooter for Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, Romelda Aiken, said she is ready to step in and lead the country's defensive unit if she is asked to do so by head coach Minneth Reynolds, during their three-Test series against rivals England.
The Sunshine Girls currently only has three defensive specialist in their team for the series, this after Malysha Kelly was ruled out with a knee injury.
The first Test is set for tomorrow, the second Sunday and the final match on Tuesday, January 13. All the matches will be played at the National Indoor Sports Complex.
Aiken, who is rated as one of the top goal shooters in the world, has become one of the Sunshine Girls' top defenders over the past year following her exploits at the Commonwealth Games and at the Fast5 Championships last year.
Played as goalkeeper
The vastly experienced Aiken also played three straight matches as goalkeeper for her club side Queensland Firebirds in the ANZ Championships in Australia last year.
The statuesque player, who stands at 6'4', played brilliantly as goalkeeper for Sunshine Girls in the bronze medal over England at the Commonwealth Games last August .
"I do like playing down there, but it is a lot of work, and so respect to all defenders," said Aiken. "However, I think playing goal shooter is my favourite position, and playing there really shows that I am better playing there than playing goalkeeper."
"Any of us will go anywhere on the court and play, and I am not different because we are confident in each other," Aiken said.
Aiken added that she plans to on concentrating a lot more on her shooting ahead of this year's World Netball Championships.
"However, I think, mainly for me, this series leading up to the World Championships, I will be concentrating on playing goal shooter and make sure that I nail those shots everytime," Aiken said.
She added that she is expecting a very tough series from the English girls because both teams bring out the best in each other.
"I think with their senior players coming in, it adds a lot more competition to the game, but our girls are ready and the defensive line has stepped up its game," Aiken said.
"They have been talking a lot more, and so it will be good to see what happens when we play against them in this series," she said.