Aussie coach returns to boost Sunshine Girls
RENOWNED Australian netball coach Jill McIntosh will now reassume the position of technical director of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls as they begin preparation for the Commonwealth Games and by extension the 2015 World Championships dubbed 'Gold Rush Down Under'.
The announcement was made by Netball Jamaica as they introduced members of the management team for the Commonwealth Games at the offices of the Jamaica Olympic Association yesterday.
McIntosh, who was recruited by Netball Jamaica in 2010 to act as a consultant for the national senior team, has now returned to assist with improving the fortunes of the team as they seek to move up in the rankings.
She will work alongside Minneth Reynolds, who has filled the gap as coach since the departure of Oberon Pitterson Nattie.
President of Netball Jamaica Marva Bernard outlined that the experienced technical director's first task will be the Commonwealth Games set for July 23 to August 3.
"Jill is going to be with us preparing the team for the Commonwealth Games, that is her first job. We expect that her track record speaks for itself, and the fact that she is dedicated to raising the performance of the Sunshine Girls...
"She is a consummate professional and she is an internationally renowned coaching instructor, educator and I think Jamaica is really great and lucky to have her so close," said Bernard.
The local netball boss sought to rubbish suggestions that McIntosh will be retained on a six-month contract, which would embrace the Commonwealth Games.
"We don't measure things in terms of fine like contract numbers, we measure things by the objectives we want to achieve and the first stop on our journey is to be on the podium at the Commonwealth Games. When we have completed that, then we take on the next challenge," she explained.
McIntosh, speaking to the media, explained that she saw glimpses of really good plays from the girls in their last series, which will make it difficult to select 12 players to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games.
"The selection committee will look at the best players and the best mix of players, so you want a team of 12 that is very harmonious, that works well together on the court, which will allow you to change the combinations and it doesn't matter," said the Australian.
She later highlighted that she is not yet sure about being on board with the team for next year's World Championships, as that will depend on the outcome of the Commonwealth Games.
McIntosh received a brand-new Volkswagen vehicle from ATL Automotive, with the latter being a sponsorship partner. In addition to their sponsors, efforts are underway to get the Urban Development Corporation on board with a view of getting a wooden court for the girls to practise on.
With the Under-16 Sunshine Girls departing today for the Jean Pierre Caribbean Tournament in Antigua, starting on Sunday, Bernard said the team is well-prepared to come back with the trophy.