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New Sunshine Girl looks ahead to tour

Published:Thursday | July 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM
New Sunshine Girl goal attack Ann-Kay Griffith says she is looking forward to finally playing against the world's best, when the team contests upcoming test matches with Australia and New Zealand. - Contributed

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

When Jamaica's Sunshine Girls take the courts for their two-test away series against top-ranked Australia and New Zealand next month, all eyes will be on newly invited goal attack Ann-Kay Griffith, who is set to make her debut for the national team.

The 23-year-old Griffith is the only newcomer in the Connie Francis-coached 12-member team, which is scheduled to leave the island next Monday. The Jamaicans will oppose Australia on August 8 and 15, respectively, before travelling to New Zealand where they will battle the hosts on August 18 and 21.

However, despite the attention she is expecting to receive, Griffith said she is ready for the big moment because she has equipped herself for it.

"I have been looking forward to this big occasion for a long time," said the soft-spoken Griffith, in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday. "I think that I am ready for it because I have been preparing myself physically and mentally and it is just for me to go out there and show what I can do," she said.

"However, I am going to be a bit nervous whenever I step out on the court, but I know that I am going to make Jamaica proud," said Griffith who is an admirer of captain Simone Forbes.

Griffith added that since her inclusion in the senior team for this tour, she has been receiving a great deal of encouragement from her family and her friends.

"This is a dream come true for me because I always wanted to represent my country on the international level from a very young age," Griffith said.

Griffith, who has never represented Jamaica at any level before, began her netball career at age 10 at the Hazard Primary in Clarendon. She then went on to represent Denbigh High School in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Netball Competition. She admits that she was very shocked by her inclusion in the team.

"I was surprised, very surprised when I was selected to go on this tour because I began training with the senior team from January (this year) and there were also a lot of other good players that were training with the team," said Griffith.

"I know that I am a very good player at my position because I work very hard improving my game, and I am a good listener and I always follow the coaches' instructions in training," Griffith reasoned.

She was also a member of the Windalco team, which finished fourth in the Berger Paints Super League competition earlier this year.