Wed | Aug 5, 2020

Francis eager for regular training

Published:Monday | June 29, 2020 | 12:26 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
National senior women’s netball team players Adean Thomas (left) and Nicole Dixon go through their paces during a recent training session at the Leila Robinson Courts in Kingston on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
National senior women’s netball team players Adean Thomas (left) and Nicole Dixon go through their paces during a recent training session at the Leila Robinson Courts in Kingston on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

National senior women’s netball team head coach Connie Francis says only the fittest and best players will be in her squad for the team’s tour against England in November.

The Sunshine Girls have been restricted to online training because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Francis says the challenges her players face, in being in different locations, vary. She anticipates that some players might be ahead of others in terms of physical fitness and match sharpness if the series should go ahead as scheduled, but she says that only the most competitive players will be selected for the tour.

“The girls in England don’t have any competition, unlike the girls in Australia who have a competition,” Francis said. “So we still have some girls active.

“We (locally) don’t have any competitions, but we have the men’s team, so when we do get the green light, they will come out and give us good practice. So we are relying on that and our overseas players.”

TRAINING GOING WELL

The team started online training over four weeks ago and Francis said it was going “extremely well”, but says that online training has its shortcomings and that she and the girls are eager to get back out on the court to train as is normal.

“It is what it is,” she said. “It is the only time we get to train and we have to make use of it. I’m glad we are putting in the hard work. This is a global thing, but I love the adjustment that Netball Jamaica is making, and we can only get better. We just completed our fourth week of the Zoom sessions and it is going extremely well. Some of them were out of shape and I think they are really trying their best.

“The consistency is there in all the girls attending the sessions and we just hope to build from there. We have sessions four days a week and I love what I am seeing,” she said.

Francis says based on conversations with Netball Jamaica administrators, she believes the players could be back on the court training very soon.

“Last week, we spoke about how soon [we can return to training],” she said. “Netball Jamaica has written to the sports minister and we are awaiting her response.

“Football has gotten the green light, so we are hoping to get the green light also and go out and do our stuff.

“We want competitive players, and the only way you can be competitive is to be at the session and encourage the girls to come out and give their best.

“We do have a lovely squad of players and it’s just to get that full commitment of the players, because they have jobs, their lives, and so it’s how best we can filter everything in and let it go smoothly.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com