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Junior Sunshine Girls fixed on medal

Published:Friday | May 24, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

With just under four months to go before the start of the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Jamaica Netball Association's (JNA) president Marva Bernard said the junior Sunshine Girls have their eyes fixed on winning a medal at the tournament.

The World Youth Netball Championships will be held from August 22-31. The Jamaicans will be aiming to repeat their feat in 2009, when they captured the bronze medal in the Cook Islands.

The Jamaicans are drawn in Group C of the tournament alongside Wales, The Cayman Islands, Samoa and host Scotland.

"We want to be on the podium because we don't want to go there and come back in a lower position than we went in with," said Bernard in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday. "I am sure that the girls are expected to go over there knowing that we want to be on the podium and so, every game should be a step in that direction."

Bernard added that there is going to be added pressure on the players because the coaching staff is aware that not getting on the podium is not an option for the junior Sunshine Girls.

"They need to go into the tournament knowing that the expectations of the Jamaican public are high and so if they do what they have learnt in practice, then they should realise our expectations," said Bernard.

She added that all their games in the group phase are going to be crucial and therefore, they would be aiming to finish the round unbeaten.

Respect all opponents

"Each game in the championships is important to us and so we respect all our opponents and when they come, we will do what it is that we have done and learnt in practice," said Bernard.

"Samoa usually has a very strong team and their physicality is something which we can expect and I believe that if all goes well, we should come through this group," she said.

Continuing, Bernard said: "We don't know anything about Cayman, except that over the years we have done very well against them," Bernard stated. "They have brought in an overseas coach and so we are expecting them to be a much better team.

The JNA boss also disclosed that as part of their preparations for the championships, the junior Sunshine Girls will hosts arch-rivals England in a three-Test series in July.

The Jamaicans are also down to oppose Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago in a two-matches series in July.