New Zealand series won't be all sunshine for Jamaicans
The upcoming netball tour of New Zealand will be a stern test for Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls. That’s the expectation held by senior player Malysha Kelly and Netball Jamaica President Paula Daley-Morris.
Speaking at a tour launch earlier this week, Kelly advised that massive crowds there will create an atmosphere to which the Jamaicans may not be accustomed.
Kelly, a tall defender, had an insightful view of her younger teammates.
“I’ve seen them in other series and I’ve seen that they are actually at the level where they can be focused and they can compete and they can perform.”
The players who will be playing for the Jamaica senior team for the first time are Kerry-Ann Brown, Rebekah Robinson and Abbeygail Linton.
“I must say though that this is in New Zealand and the atmosphere is very different,” Kelly cautioned.
“This is their (New Zealand) number one female sport and it is very supported by fans down there and I know. We’re not used to this type of crowd.
“It’s a massive, massive, massive crowd that’s going to be there so this is definitely a benchmark, and an experience itself to know where we stand at the moment,” she said.
The local netball federation president was guardedly optimistic.
“We would want them to rise to the challenge but you’re never sure how a young player will react when they touch the world stage for the first time.”
Jamaica last played New Zealand in the 2015 Netball World Cup and lost 48 — 55 at the qualification group stage.
“It will be a tough test of their mettle,” Daley-Morris predicted of the clashes between Jamaica which is world ranked at number four and the host nation which holds the number two world ranking.