'Yes, but only if ...' - Netball coach says suspended girls must get in line

May 25, 2017
The Barbados team celebrates after beating Jamaica 43-41 in Game Three of their three-Test series at the National Arena in May.
@Normal:Jamaica suffers a shock 43-41 defeat to Barbados in Game 3 of their three-Test series at the National Arena. The series ended 1-1.

AMID public outcry for three suspended national netballers to be reinstated to Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, now under-pressure coach, Jermaine Allison-McCracken, yesterday told STAR Sports she is hoping for a swift resolution to the issue.

New coach Allison-McCracken, who had sent home the trio for "inappropriate behaviour" ahead of Jamaica's historic drawn series, losing the final game to lowly Barbados, said the issue should soon be resolved by Netball Jamaica in order for the team to move on from its disappointing performance.

The trio of Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams and Nicole Dixon were suspended by Allison-McCracken, who afterwards claimed the team was bonding better since their axing. This, however, did not translate on court as Jamaica and Barbados drew the first match in the series last Friday. Jamaica won the second game on Sunday but Barbados outmuscled the Sunshine Girls on Monday to win the third match, levelling the series 1-1.

The Sunshine Girls, ranked fourth in the world, played poorly against 12th-ranked Barbados and were beaten 41-43 by the Bajans, their first ever loss to the Caribbean side.

The Sunshine Girls, who were without seven of their senior players, were hobbled by the absence of the suspended trio and failed to reach 50 goals in any of their three games.


Back in training


Allison-McCracken told STAR Sports she had not spoken to the players since their suspension, but is hoping to do so soon.

"There is a meeting and so it is not that I am ignoring them. I suspended them until after this series and so I expect to see them back in training next week, but not without a meeting to say these are the parameters within which you need to operate," she pointed out.

She added that she has been advised by Jamaica Netball that the organisation would be conducting one-on-one meetings with the girls in an effort to resolve their differences.

"I would love to have them back in the squad, the same as how I would like to have rest of the squad, that are out in the rest of the world, back into the squad, to focus on my training sessions from now until when I make my selection for the Caribbean Championships," said Allison-McCracken.

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