Sport

Nevers says Shanice Beckford the 'Swiss Army knife' of Sunshine Girls

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ The Netball World Cup
In Liverpool, England

Friday, July 12, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Adaptability and innovation are two of the components Jamaica's coaches are targeting throughout their 2019 Netball World Cup campaign.

In Shanice Beckford, who most commonly plays as goal attack, they have the ultimate multi-function tool to help the Sunshine Girls' cause.

On the eve of the today's start of the tournament, the team's Assistant Coach Winston Nevers heaped praise on Jamaica's own Swiss Army knife, noting how pivotal her roles could be.

“As a player, I admire her so much. We have her playing about two or three different positions in training. She's a specialist goal attack but we ask her to play wing attack sometimes,” Nevers told the Jamaica Observer.

“She really can supply — whether she plays wing attack or goal attack, she's excellent. I've been talking to her to continue to do the good work because she can help us to reach higher heights,” he said regarding the former Queen's School student who now attends University of Technology, Jamaica.

“We look at Shanice's awareness, and we look at her decision-making and we recognise how versatile she is. Her skills are broad, her vision is so wide and her concentration is so good. We will ask her to do a lot of work for us,” he explained.

The world number two-rated Sunshine Girls are set to open their Group C account against 17th-ranked Fiji today at M&S Bank Arena.

Thereafter, they are slated to oppose Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow and South Africa on Sunday.

The schedule won't get any easier, with each team to play every day straight up to the gold medal match set for July 21.

Nevers, who is assistant to head coach Marvette Anderson, said Beckford's hard-as-nails mentality will be key if Jamaica are to sustain their medal charge.

“To me, she is a player who loves the tough going. Every time it goes tougher and tougher she rises to the occasion and we notice that.

“I remember doing shooting drills in Jamaica and we asked them to run through cones and to shoot and do other exercises, and she was outstanding. She was the one who got the 100 per cent mark,” he told the Observer.

“The drill tests your concentration levels and as you run between cones it gets tougher because we try to wear you down to see if you can make good decisions while you're tiring. When the training session went up to another level she was outstanding.

“We have to know our players; you have to see the players and know what they can do and what they cannot do. You have to know who comes off the bench and can play better and who starts the best. But Shanice is all round, she can do every thing,” Nevers explained.

—Sanjay Myers


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