Berger Elite League draws new teams

Saturday, November 11, 2017

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Netball Jamaica hosted its fourth Berger Elite Lottery on Wednesday night at the General Accident training room on Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston.

All 75 players were entered in the pool for the first time since the league started in 2013. Sixty of the players were selected by the coaches of the six franchises through the random lottery process.

In the end, some of the players who competed in the previous staging were not selected for the upcoming season, while some players found places with the coach that they knew all along.

The Berger Elite League takes to the court on December 1, with two matches and an opening ceremony at 5:30 pm. The feature match will see defending champions St Ann Orchids taking on last-placed finisher Clarendon Gaters, who ended last season without winning a match.

In the second match, St James Sharpes will face Kingston Humming Birds — the team that won the league in 2013 when it first started. The other two teams in the league are Manchester Spurs and St Catherine Racers.

Some of the players who will be on court on during the league include Khadijah Williams, Nicole Dixon, Shanice Beckford, Staceyann Facey, Althea Byfield, Simone Forbes, Thristina Harwood, Paula Thompson, Althea Byfield, Vangeee Williams, Kasey Evering and Adean Thomas, who have all represented Jamaica at the senior level.

Janet Guy, coach of St Ann Orchids, said, “We are expecting good things out of the competition because I think the teams were carefully selected and they seem to be equal, based on what I have seen and it should be very competitive this year. You cannot say you have a winner; everybody has to play to be a winner, so that should be exciting. I am happy for the persons we have chosen and they have accepted, so we will get on the court and start working out.”

Dr Paula Daley-Morris had this to say about the upcoming season. “As you notice, we did a fresh lottery because we wanted to stimulate the competition in terms of its competitiveness, so I think that this year you must come and support because we won't know who will win.

“We have new teams and so the competitive edge, you have to build that back and so, we really can't predict any winners this year.”

Dr Daley-Morris also said that the Berger Elite League has helped to expose many players while playing at a high level on a consistent basis, and some even made their way to national teams.

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