Netball boss says media spun her ‘help Barbados’ comments
Netball Jamaica president, Paula Daley-Morris, has described as “media spin”, interpretations of her “helping Barbados” comment, made after the Sunshine Girls’ disappointing drawn three-Test series against the Caribbean minnows.
Following the final game last Monday, which Jamaica lost 41-43, the first time in decades Jamaica were losing to the Bajans, Daley-Morris told TVJ Sports:
“They are really not match ready but we wanted to help Barbados so we agreed to doing this Test. So this is really more about Barbados than us. We’re trying not to be selfish. We want Barbados to be in the Commonwealth Games.”
Her comments immediately drew the ire of an outraged public, more so with the controversial suspension of the team’s three most experienced players on the eve of the series by new coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken, an Englishwoman with no prior experience in charge of a national team, who had got the job over much-loved former national player and coach, Connie Francis.
In her defence, Daley-Morris, who has been grieving the death of her mother, yesterday told STAR Sports there was no premeditated plan to lose a match or even draw the series to help Barbados.
She said Barbados had approached Netball Jamaica in March to play a series against the Sunshine Girls to help meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Games qualification.
POINTS TO BE EARNED
Daley-Morris pointed out that Barbados losing the series would have still helped their cause, earning them points by way of playing fourth-ranked Jamaica, improving the 12th-place team’s world rankings.
“The media has a way of spinning things. It (the series) was not on our agenda. They asked us because they were not playing any Test matches, and we agreed because we thought it would have been good for us to play them. Other countries could have asked us and we would have agreed to do it. We didn’t expect Barbados to beat us at any time. It was a gamble,” she said.
However, she pointed out that the timing of the suspensions levied on Shanice Beckford, Nicole Dixon, and Kadijah Williams, two weeks before the tournament, hamstringed the team.
“We didn’t expect not to have these three girls. It was a moral dilemma because we never had the full squad, but from where we sat, our neighbor needed help. The timing was a little off. We had figured that there would be no way Barbados would even win a match, but with the three girls out and we committed, we couldn’t do anything at that time.
“At the time they approached us, with the three girls in the squad, there was no way they could beat us. That was our full attack,” she explained, adding that Netball Jamaica faced a dilemma of including the players, or to make a point that indiscipline would not be tolerated.
“What do we do when indiscipline happens? Do we say, win at all costs, or do we teach these girls that discipline and respect is important in their professional life?” Daley-Morris asked.