Sunshine Girls look to England series with gustoSunday, October 24, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
With the Vitality Reunited series against England fast approaching, Sunshine Girls Captain Jhaniele Fowler felt the just-concluded series against Trinidad and Tobago served its purpose well in gauging her team.
For Fowler, the three-match Sunshine Series, played in honour of former Netball President Margaret Beckford, not only assisted the Sunshine Girls to shake game rust, but, more importantly, helped players to understand where they are now and what they want to achieve in the upcoming series.
The number four ranked Sunshine Girls swept their number 10-ranked opponents 71-22, 64-32 and 73-22 in the series, which also marked their return to competitive action since January last year.
“It was important for us to get back on court at this point in time, as you know some of the ladies, including myself play overseas, but, as a team, we needed to see where we are at and what we needed to work on.
“Our overall performance was okay, but there are lots of things to fix, especially the attacking coming down, and we also have a lot of things to fix in the circle,” Fowler told the Jamaica Observer.
“Luckily Coach [Connie Francis] has an eye for the things that we need to work on, and we as players will try to correct those in training. So, again, I think we did well overall in winning the series, but we have so many things to improve on heading into the next series,” she added.
Though the Jamaicans, as expected, were dominant, where the scoreline is concerned in all three games, their performance in centre court and shooting circle was found wanting at times, particularly in the first two encounters.
In fact, their best attempt at a complete performance came in Wednesday's final game, where Fowler and goal attack Shanice Beckford were clinical in the shooting circle.
They complemented some good defensive and mid-court work from Shamera Sterling, Shadian Hemmings, Nicole Dixon, and others, in the first three quarters, before things gradually fell away in the fourth quarter.
“It [game rust] did come into play at times, but, to be honest, we are elite players and once you are elite players you should have some sort of muscle memory. So when you go back on court you should be able to perform up to a high standard. So, yes, it did play a part, but that is not an excuse for us,” Fowler stated.
“We did have an edge over Trinidad, but they did come out and perform well, and again it doesn't matter who we playing against we should always aim to bring our 'A' game,” the 32-year-old, rated as one of the world's best shooters declared.
For her part, the towering shooter, standing over six feet tall, believes she could have done much better that the 120 goals scored from 133 attempts across all three games.
“I felt that I could have done more as a senior player, I could have controlled the attacking end a bit more and I could have also been more accurate with my shots. So I definitely need to work on that, and also ensure that I am more settled in the circle,” Fowler, who represents the West Coast Fever in the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia, noted.
“With a few more training sessions, and a lot more structure from the coach, we can definitely go into the next series and perform a whole lot better,” she said.
Fowler and her teammates had an opportunity to brush up on their performances as they were scheduled to lock horns with the national men's netball team yesterday.
Their three-match series against the number three-ranked English Roses is scheduled to get under way on November 28 at the Copper Box Arena in London.
The second and third games are scheduled for December 4 and 5 at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.