Over and out for coach Connie
Francis: I think I have concluded my cycle as (national netball) coach and now my objective is for a full-time coaching job
IT IS OFFICIAL. After two successful stints coaching the national netball team Connie Francis has called it a day and is moving on. Undoubtedly, the most successful coach of the national senior team after doing so from 2007 to 2011 and 2019 to...
IT IS OFFICIAL. After two successful stints coaching the national netball team Connie Francis has called it a day and is moving on.
Undoubtedly, the most successful coach of the national senior team after doing so from 2007 to 2011 and 2019 to 2023, coach Francis stated that she has ‘ended her cycle’ with the Sunshine Girls.
During her two stints Francis coached the national team to two World Championships bronze medals in 2007 and this year in South Africa. Last year they won their silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, after losing to Australia in the final. Before being appointed coach of the Sunshine Girls in 2007 Francis was a national player for 17 years before she retired in 2003.
In an exclusive interview yesterday with The Gleaner, Francis spoke about her time at the helm of the programme.
“I started my first coaching job with the team in 2007 and was replaced in 2011 but returned in 2019 as the focus was on the World Championships in South Africa in 2023,” she said.
After their silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, where they had beaten champions Australia in the semifinal, optimism was high for the World Championships. “The belief was really high but before the championships, the team had some minor setbacks with injuries to a few key players. With those injuries we had to see how best we could manage the team ensuring that players were not overused. We had to be more flexible,” she said.
Francis stated that she has now finished her cycle as coach and has decided to move on.
“I think I have concluded my cycle as coach and now my objective is for a full-time coaching job. This is very hard to do locally as it is very difficult to attract major sponsorship for the team which is critical,” said Francis who is eyeing a head coaching job overseas.
Coach Francis stated that her best moment coaching the national team came in 2022.
“My most memorable moment coaching the national team came last year at the Commonwealth Games which I will always cherish,” she said. “The young ladies gelled well and were focused and committed and believed in themselves.
Going forward, she is very optimistic that the team will continue to do well.
“The future for Jamaica’s netball looks great. We have some very promising young players who will join the programme,” she said. “With the bunch of experienced players who have been in the programme for a long while this will ensure a good balance.”
Her main concern, however, is funding. “Once the programme gets the necessary funding, the sky’s the limit going forward,” concluded Francis.