Back on court!
Sunshine Girls return to competitive action in three-match series versus T&TSaturday, October 16, 2021
BY GERALD REID
WITH this being their first meeting against Trinidad and Tobago's Calypso Girls since 2019, Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is hopeful her team can execute efficiently to sweep the three-match Margaret Beckford Series.
The opening match is scheduled to start at 6:00 this evening at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Though pleased with how preparations have gone, Francis believes the onus is on the players to deliver as promised to ensure a successful outing on home soil.
“We have not played Trinidad for quite some time and I know that their standard of playing has not changed, but their goal shooting is still very good. We need, however, to prevent their shooters from having the better of us in that department,” Francis said.
This series marks the Sunshine Girls' return to competitive action in almost two years — their last appearance coming in the Nations Cup in England in January 2020.
Then, the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls placed second behind world number two-ranked New Zealand in the four-nation tournament that included the host nation and South Africa.
In fact, the fifth-ranked South Africans were scheduled to be a part of this series which was intended to be a tri-nation event. However, the Proteas withdrew due to safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Still, Francis is optimistic that her team can make the most of the head-to-head against their number 10-ranked Caribbean rivals in their build-up to sterner tests against possibly Australia and England later this year.
“I expect the Sunshine Girls to go out there and do their best as we are also looking to win the series over our Caribbean counterparts,” the former national representative said.
“From the very first centre pass, I would like the team to dominate the game very early so as to give our opponents little chance of having any possible winning chances. We also want to be more consistent and also to capitalise on our turnovers and also to produce the least number of mistakes,” she added.
Squads: Sunshine Girls — Jhaniele Fowler (captain), Shanice Beckford, Rebecca Robinson, Gezelle Allison, Amanda Pinkney, Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams, Nicole Dixon, Shadian Hemmings, Shannika Johnson, Paula Ann Burton, Malysha Kelly, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Latanya Wilson and Jodi Ann Ward.
Calypso Girls — Kalifa McCollin (captain), Crystal Ann George (vice captain), Aniecia Baptiste, Tia Bruno, Rayann Bristol, Janeisha Cassimy, Oprah Douglas, Shaquanda Greene Noel, Jameela McCarthy, Jeresia McEachrane, Afeisha Noel, Afiya Vincent, Destiny Williams.
Game 1: Saturday, October 16 @ 6:00 pm
Game 2: Tuesday, October 19 @ 6:00 pm
Game 3: Wednesday, October 20 @6:00 pm