KINGSTON, Jamaica – Some of Jamaica’s most exciting talent will be on show when the Sunshine Girls take on Barbados in the tri-Test netball series which takes place this weekend at the National Arena from Friday to Monday, May 22.
The 15-member Jamaica squad includes not only seasoned campaigners, but many who have starred while representing Jamaica at junior levels – especially Under-16 and Under-21 – such as Caralee Tinglin, Zonasha Hinds, Rebecca Robinson, Melissa Hinds and Jodiann Ward.
The 15-member squad include three members of the national Under-21 team, who are preparing for the upcoming World Youth Netball Championships next month.
Thristina Harwood, an attacking player who either plays at goal shooter, goal attack of wing attack, is the most experienced player on the team with 22 caps. Defenders Stacian Facey and Shamera Sterling are two of the other regular team members with 17 and 12 caps respectively.
Centre court players Kerry-Ann Brown and Adean Thomas also have a fair bit of senior level experience representing Jamaica, who are hosting the series to assist Barbados’ preparation for the Commonwealth Games, plus gearing towards the Caribbean Championships, to be held later this year.
The Jamaicans have been preparing for nearly three weeks under the guidance of new coach, Jermaine Allison-McCracken.
They will play the opening game of the series on Friday, beginning at 7 p.m., then the second Test on Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. and close out on Monday, starting at 7 p.m.
The Bajan Gems are ranked 12th in the world while Jamaica are ranked fourth. Acknowledging the tough task they face, last week Barbados captain Rhe-Ann Niles said winning was a process and one could never go up against a top team and just beat them. She explained that Barbados needed to focus more on the processes as opposed to the outcome.
“I never really push the outcome of the game, it is more so ensuring that the players are doing their best to stick to the task that they have been given and executing well. I find that if you focus more on the task instead of focusing on the outcome, then chances are you are going to be competitive,” she said.
Niles added: “What we go into any Caribbean game expecting is usually an aerial game, one that is going to be physically tough. Jamaica usually tends to be taller than we are, so we have to play to our strength, which is keeping the ball low, keeping it flat to the ground and try to outplay them across the floor. That is something we are also trying to work on, trying to get our game to be a little faster and keeping the ball at a level that works to our advantage.”
The Barbados team leave for Jamaica on Thursday and return home May 23.
Jamaicateam: Thristina Harwood, Rebecca Robinson, Shimona Nelson, Hasana Williams, Carlalee Tinglin, Adean Thomas, Kerry-Ann Brown, Melissa Wright, Antoinette Stone, Zonasha Hinds, Shamera Sterling, Stacian Facey, Tashike Salmon, Jodiann Ward, Latanya Wilson.
Barbados team: Defenders – Rhe-Ann Niles (captain), Shonette Bruce, Shanice Rock, Tonisha Rock- Yaw; shooters – Latonia Blackman (vice-captain), Shonica Wharton, Sheniqua Thomas, Rieah Holder; center court – Sabreena Smith, Damisha Croney, Rashida Chase, Teresa Howell.