Sun | Oct 24, 2021

Fowler eager to get going in Tri-Nation series

Published:Sunday | September 12, 2021 | 12:07 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Jamaica’s star shooter Jhaniele Fowler (right) makes a point to teammates during a team huddle during the Jamaica vs England series at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Jamaica’s star shooter Jhaniele Fowler (right) makes a point to teammates during a team huddle during the Jamaica vs England series at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Saturday October 13, 2018.

Fresh off winning her fourth consecutive Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia, Sunshine Girls captain Jhaniele Fowler said she is looking forward to the team’s Tri-Nation series against South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

The series, which is called the Supreme Ventures Margaret Beckford Series, will be played behind closed doors at the National Indoor Sports Centre from October 9-23.

The 32-year-old Fowler, who dominated the scoring chart in the Suncorp Netball League with 883 goals this season, last represented the Sunshine Girls in a four-nation Quad Series in England in January 2020.

“Mentally, I am in very good form and physically my body is there and so I am eager to go in training next week and to see how best I can continue to perform well,” said Fowler.

“This series is going to be extremely important because next year is the Commonwealth Games and right after we have the Netball World Cup and in order for us to prepare, we are going to need international series,” she added. “This series is going to be very important for us owing to the fact that it has been a long time since we had any international games at home.”

The Sunshine Girls are ranked fourth in the world, one place above South Africa, while Trinidad and Tobago are ranked 10th.

Fowler, who is rated as the best goal shooter in the world, pointed to the opportunity that the series will provide for the coaching staff to gauge the team’s competitive level and test combinations.

“South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago coming over, it is very important for us to see where we are and also to make sure that our coaching staff knows our set-up and knows what needs to be fine-tuned coming up to our major games,” Fowler said.

She also weighed up the individual matchups with the visiting teams.

“We lost to South Africa (at Netball World Cup) and we beat ourselves, but when we come up against them in the next couple of weeks, we are just going to put our skills out there and let it speak for itself,” Fowler stated.

Fowler says she said is also expecting a tough encounter from the regional neighbours.

“I am expecting them to put up a good fight against us. One of the things with us is we have never underestimated a team,” Fowler said.

“Any team that comes out can play well and win and every team that comes up against the Sunshine Girls always puts in their best game and so we are pretty sure that they are going to come fighting hard,” she said.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com