No shame in defeat, says T&T Coach McCollinMonday, October 18, 2021
Despite being swamped 71-22 by Jamaica's Sunshine Girls in game one of their three-match series, Trinidad and Tobago's Head Coach Althea McCollin says her team has nothing to be ashamed of, as she promised a much better showing for the next two encounters.
This series being played in honour of former Netball Jamaica President Margaret Beckford is Trinidad and Tobago's first outing since the 2019 Netball World Cup in England, where they last squared off against their Jamaican rivals.
The number 10-ranked Calypso Girls, who are on a mission to relive the country's glory days in the sport and, by extension, close the gap on the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls, failed to get going in Saturday's contest as they were outscored and outclassed in all four quarters.
They struggled for consistency throughout, both in the shooting circle and centre court, where they had a high turnover rate, and these factors proved their undoing.
Afeisha Noel with 13 goals from 18 attempts was the best Calypso Girl in the shooting circle, with Captain Kalifa McCollin sinking a perfect six from six before limping off in the third quarter with what seems a hamstring injury.
Jameela McCarthy, who recently landed a contract in England's Superleague, scored two of her four attempts, while Afiya Vincent had one from three.
“I thought the game was keenly contested, they stood up to the pressure and that is what we were looking at. In relation to the combinations, we still rotated to make sure that the young players got on court to get the experience and make their mark and I felt that they stood up well,” McCollin told reporters in a post-match interview at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
With a potent mix of international professional experience, exciting new talent, and a new philosophy, McCollin and her Calypso Girls are approaching their own legacy-building with the seriousness it deserves.
It is with that intent that McCollin pointed out that they will head back to the drawing board to reflect on their mistakes, learn from them, and attempt a rally in the series.
“The score in itself, we anticipated scoring more goals. So we have to work on that, work on the passes, as well as the players coming in. But all in all it was a good game, despite we lost the game it was good,” McCollin stated.
“The team that we have, we have four players who played in 2019 and the rest of the team are still young so they gained the experience, so we are going to go back, do some work with them, and come again on Tuesday for a better show,” she added.
However, for that to happen, she believes the players will have to stand up better defensively to limit the Sunshine Girls shooters.
“The defence does not own their own circle and the defence start from the attackers going down, so that is something that we are working on.
“We are working on their fitness as well because they are not all that fit and that is the reason why we keep rotating. So, it's a work in progress. We only started [training] July 12 and these are young players, so it's a work in progress and we are getting there,” McCollin ended.
— Sherdon Cowan