Fowler humbled by achievements in Australian Super Netball LeagueWednesday, June 09, 2021
By Howard Walker
JAMAICA'S Jhaniele Fowler, who was named MVP of the Australian Suncorp Super Netball League for the last three years, said she is humbled by her achievements as her hard work is paying off.
“I'm beyond humbled to have won the MVP three times in a row. It has definitely added to me being confident in the player I have become. I have so much more room to improve and I plan on getting better,” Fowler told the Jamaica Observer.
The world-rated goal-shooting super star has started the 2021 season with a bang, leading the West Coast Fever to five consecutive wins.
Last Monday Fowler scored the winning basket, leading Fever to a nerve-racking 66-65 win over the previously unbeaten Giants. With the game tied at 65, Fowler buried a penalty with no time left. She scored 55 of 56 attempts.
“I pride myself on my work ethics on and off the court. I'm pretty hard on myself, which is not always a good thing but it gives results in order for me to maintain consistency. I push myself mentally,” she revealed.
Standing at six feet five inches, Fowler has been a nightmare for defenders and is currently the leading scorer in the league with 299 goals after five games – an average of 59 goals per game.
So outstanding is Fowler's performance that the second-best scorer, Sam Wallace of NSW Swift, is 85 goals behind, sitting on 214.
The Fever now remain the only unbeaten team in the league and are up to fourth, eight points behind the leaders Giants on 16 points. Of note, the Fever were deducted 12 points for salary cap violations at the start of the season.
Fowler, who has been representing Jamaica since 2010, is also atop the Nissan Net Points with 451.5 points while another Jamaican, Romelda Aiken (Queensland Firebird), sits in fourth on 328.5 points.
Aiken leads the Offensive Rebound category with 29, ahead of Fowler on 18. Another Jamaican, Adelaide Thunderbirds' defender Shamera Sterling, is atop the Deflection table with 42.
There are at least seven Jamaicans currently plying their trade in Australia, as beside Fowler, Aiken and Sterling, there are Shimona Nelson, Jodi-Ann Ward (Collingwood Magpies), Latanya Wilson (Adelaide Thunderbird) and Kadie-Ann Dehaney (Melbourne Vixens).
With all these Jamaicans doing well in the best netball league in the world, Fowler believes the Jamaican team can break through and strike gold at the next major tournament, but the infrastructure at home needs to improve.
“I definitely believe we have the skills to break the top teams and win gold however, there is so much more that is needed to ensure that we make it to that top spot,” said Fowler.
“We lack the necessary resources that are needed for us to perform at our optimal, whilst we have been doing amazing and maintaining consistency over the years,” she pointed out.
The towering 32-year-old who has been instrumental in Jamaica's three third-place finishes — twice at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018 and at the 2010 World Fastnet Championship — has been enjoying life down under.
“Life in Australia has been a good experience so far. I've learnt so much about their history and got some first-hand experiences with the Aboriginal people who are indigenous to Australia,” said Fowler.
“I've not really explored their food, I've mainly been eating things I am accustomed to,” she noted.
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