Sunshine Girl Beckford ready for Australian adventure
Having inked a deal with the West Coast Fever for the 2024 Australia Suncorp Super League season, Jamaica’s senior Sunshine Girls player Shanice Beckford says she is gearing up both mentally and physically to navigate the challenges of the world’s top netball competition.
At 28 years old, Beckford, a skilled goal attack, is set to join forces with her compatriot, the five-time league MVP Jhaniele Fowler. Fellow Jamaican netball standout Kadie-Ann Dehaney, who spent the last two seasons with the Sunshine Coast Lightning, further fortifies the Fever’s line-up.
Beckford brings valuable overseas experience to the team from her time in the Vitality Netball Super League in England, where she was signed by Team Northumbria in 2015.
She told the Jamaica Observer she has been watching the Suncorp Super Leagues for a number of years and it is much different compared to the league in England because it is a lot harder and more competitive as well.
“I have been doing background training now and liaising with the coaches over there; they have been guiding me, and so I am preparing mentally by getting my body ready for it,” expressed Beckford.
Despite her wealth of experience, she acknowledged the adjustments required when transitioning to a different environment.
“As an athlete, you always have areas to improve on and to help the team in whatever way you can,” she added.
Beckford expressed a sense of comfort stepping into this new chapter, with a trio of Sunshine Girls gracing the West Coast Fever team.
“This is a whole new journey, and I am looking forward to what lies ahead,” she said, recognising the support and familiarity that her fellow teammates would provide.
“I am excited to get together with my new West Coast Fever family and, of course, having familiar faces around with my two other national teammates on the team down there.”
The opportunity to join the West Coast Fever came as a delightful surprise for Beckford, who had previously considered stepping away from the netball court.
“I am feeling pretty excited, but it is a lot of mixed emotion, and I am happy with the signing,” she said.
“This wasn’t something that I was expecting at this time because I was actually looking to be done playing netball. But the time is now, and I know that a lot of persons would be saying that it is long overdue, but for me, it is about the right timing, and so I am going to embrace this new journey,” Beckford affirmed.
As Beckford embarks on this new chapter in her career, her signing with the West Coast Fever not only elevates her professional standing but also marks a significant milestone for Jamaican netball on the global stage.