Sunshine Girls shooter Gezelle Allison (left) rises above Trinidad and Tobago's Shaquanda Greene-Noel duringgame one of their three-match series at the National Indoor Sports Centre last month. (Photos: Observer file)
Upbeat Sunshine Girls bow into action against England Roses

With preparations now done and dusted, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls will be hoping to execute efficiently when they open their three-match Vitality Roses Reunited Series against England today.

The game, to be played at Copper Box Arena in London, is scheduled for 11:00 am Jamaica time.

Connie Francis's Sunshine Girls enter the series in pretty decent form on the back of a 3-0 sweep of number 10-ranked Trinidad and Tobago, complemented by victories over the national male team, as well as England's A team and, consequently, should be confident of taking an early advantage against the Roses.

The number four-ranked Sunshine Girls put the final touches on preparations yesterday, conducting two sessions, which Captain Jhaniele Fowler said was a success.

“We are feeling extremely ready for the game. I think we have prepared as well as we possibly could with what we have and its just for us now to go out there and play like we know we can to come out victorious,” Fowler told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Fowler, rated as one of the best shooters in the world, and her Sunshine Girls teammates are making their first appearance in England since the four-team Nations Cup in January last year, while the English Roses will be playing before their home crowd for the first time since the said tournament.

It is with that in mind that the shooting stalwart is hoping her team can spoil the party.

“The final session was good, we had some areas to fine-tune and I think we did just that. We did our best to cross our T's and dot our I's to ensure that when we go in the game we execute how we are supposed to,” said Fowler.

“We know England is going to come very hard at us, so the plan is to ensure that we execute, because definitely we want to go out there and win, but we have to take it a quarter at a time and ensure that we are communicating well with each other,” she noted.

Explosive defender and Vice-Captain Shamera Sterling, who is expected to take her spot in the starting team after an injury scare during the first practice game, knows what the English will bring.

“The level of competition will be high, of course, because, as I said before, England has been our biggest rivalry and they are also preparing for the Commonwealth Games, so it will be very competitive,” said Sterling.

“I am super confident in my team, we just have to keep our heads and execute according to plan. Once we do that, then I know we have a great chance of winning this game and possibly the series,” she added.

The series, which comes after the previously planned contest between the two sides, was postponed earlier this year due to the restrictions brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Both teams are using the series as part of their preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham will host the second and third games scheduled for December 4 and 5.

Sunshine Girls Captain Jhaniele Fowler (left) and Shaquanda Greene-Noel of Trinidad and Tobago in an aerial challenge for possession during game one of the three-match Sunshine Series atthe National Indoor Sports Centre recently.(Photo: Observer file)
BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

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