Beckford celebrates birthday double
Shanice Beckford is on cloud nine after successfully captaining Manchester Spurs to defend their Seprod/Netball Jamaica Elite League title and also claiming Most Valuable Player (MVP), all on her birthday yesterday.
Beckford was happy to make a key difference for Spurs during the two matches of the final against St Orchids, which were played at the National Arena.
"It's my birthday, and I didn't want to lose on my birthday...and I wasn't going to do a third game," she said.
"I am just excited that my team came out here and executed. Team Orchids rallied back into the game, but we were able to settle down and lift the title today."
Interestingly, Beckford seemed surprised after being named MVP of the finals.
"It is just my personality. Even though I am an excellent player, I tend not to overthink it," she explained.
Nevertheless, she said winning her third Elite League title was a great birthday gift.
"The last championships I played, Manchester Spurs actually beat Hummingbirds, and I was on Hummingbirds, and now I am at Spurs, and I lifted the title, so I am just happy," Beckford said in an exciting tone.
Beckford, also the vice-captain of the Sunshine Girlz, said the Elite League played an important role in helping her and other national teammates sharpen their skills in time for the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, in July.
"We don't have any other Test matches before the World Championships in July, so to have netball (Elite League) playing back after over three years will help us get match ready," she said.
Head Coach Connie Francis said although Beckford stood out in the finals, she still has a lot of work to do to improve for the World Cup.
"There are some concerns. Although she was outstanding, I thought her game needed a little more work because she made some simple errors, and that is very uncharacteristic of her, but she did enough and it is still early stages of our preparations," Francis said.
Beckford agreed that she has some improvement to do and said she is working to be at her best at the World Cup.
"World Championships is not going to be easy, so we definitely have to get ready out here," she said.