Thu | Dec 5, 2019

Happy to be back - Sunshine Girl Williams looks forward to Quad Series after trials dispute

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:50 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Khadijah Williams (right) runs ahead of England’s Serena Guthrie in their final game of their three-Test Supreme Ventures Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Centre in 2013. England won 50-36
Jamaica’s Khadijah Williams (right) runs ahead of England’s Serena Guthrie in their final game of their three-Test Supreme Ventures Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Centre in 2013. England won 50-36

National senior netballer Khadijah Williams says she is delighted to be back in the Sunshine Girls set-up and is looking forward to their upcoming Quad Series, which will be hosted by England in January.

Williams, along with nine other members of the Sunshine Girls squad who represented the country at this year’s Netball World Cup (NWC) in Liverpool, England, were recently reinstated in the training squad by Netball Jamaica after a dispute resulting from their failure to show up for mandated trials in September.

NJ BOYCOTT

With the exception of goalshooter Romelda Aiken, who is now injured, and defender Vangelee Williams, who is taking a one-year break from the sport, the other members were excluded from the training squad after they boycotted NJ’s trials stipulation.

The 24-year-old Williams, who plays wing attack and centre, said her omission from the squad affected her mentally but shared that she was now over the incident and is looking forward to representing the country in January.

“It’s a good feeling to be back because it is always humbling to represent my country, and so I am glad to be back in the programme,” said Williams.

“It did affect me negatively because it is not like I didn’t want to be a part of the programme. We were just taken out of programme, and so it was mentally challenging, but we are back now and so we just have to look how, best we can work going forward,” she added.

The Quad Series, which will also involve World champions New Zealand and South Africa, will be the Sunshine Girls’ first international assignment since their disappointing fifth-place finish at the NWC in July.

The outspoken Williams pointed out that they are hoping to put on a much better showing for the country during the series.

The girls’ reinstatement did not go down well with everybody at Netball Jamaica, with former Sunshine Girl and NJ director Janet Johnson-Haughton announcing recently that she was stepping down from her role as selector, citing a lack of discipline with indications that she had expressed strong opposition to the girls’ reinstatement.