Netball

Suspended netballers cleared to resume training

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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Following a recent meeting with the technical committee of Netball Jamaica, the three suspended Sunshine Girls have now been cleared to resume training with the team as they continue their build-up to the Caribbean Championships in August.

However, it is understood that the three players — goal attack Shanice Beckford, wing attack Khadijah Williams, and Nicole Dixon, centre — are yet to take part in a session with the Jermaine Allison-McCracken-coached team, for various reasons.

It has been over a month since the players were suspended on May 3 by Allison-McCracken, prior to start of their drawn three-test series against Barbados Gems, for what was deemed “inappropriate behaviour”. But the players, in their defence, hit back at the claims.

This resulted in the meeting being called a few weeks after the series, which saw the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls being defeated by the number 12-ranked Gems at the senior level, for the first time since 1984.

When contacted, president of Netball Jamaica Paula Daley-Morris directed the Jamaica Observer to Technical Manager Arlene Findlay, who confirmed that the tiff has been resolved, but declined to comment further on the matter.

“The matter has been resolved and the girls are to be back at training. They should have been back at training from last week, but they are ill… one has a problem with her fingers and the other one having some issues with her health. So the girls are back in the team, the issue has all been resolved, and they will definitely be back in training this week,” Findlay explained in an interview last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the experienced Sunshine Girls are expected to return to the squad ahead of the upcoming Caribbean Championships, to be staged in St Lucia August 18-26.

Among those expected to return for the title defence are Captain Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, who is currently plying her trade with the Sirens in Scotland, as well as ace-shooters Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Romelda Aiken, who represent teams in Australia and New Zealand.

The players are also expected to be available for the Commonwealth Games next year. They won a bronze medal last time out.

“The other senior players will be coming in at various times, depending on their contractual obligations. Some of them are still in competition, some have finished competition, but they have other commitments that they have to attend to before they come,” Findlay noted.

— Sherdon Cowan

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