Sunshine Girls will do well – Bernard

Former president of Netball Jamaica (NJ) Marva Bernard said she is expecting a good showing from the Sunshine Girls when they compete in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in England from January 19-26, 2020.

The four-nation tournament, which will be the first outing for the Sunshine Girls since their disappointing fifth-place finish at the Netball World Cup (NWC) last July, also includes the hosts, world champions New Zealand, and South Africa.

Bernard, who led the association from 2005-2015, told The Gleaner that the series is a great opportunity for the Sunshine Girls to regain their confidence after their dismal performance at NWC in Liverpool, England.

“I am expecting a very good showing from this team and I hope that they will acclimatise very quickly, and I expect that the team will come together,” said Bernard.

“These ladies really want to do well and I know that they will do well because they are very determined and they have worked very hard in their preparation for this series,” she added.

The Sunshine Girls’ 12-member team, which will be led by veteran coach Connie Francis, includes seven players who participated at the NWC, along with five newcomers.

Bernard underlines that she is confident in the ability of Francis to get the best out of the Jamaicans, despite the cold weather conditions which await them in England next week.

“Connie is very competent, and knowing her, she would have been watching Consolation Cup and the English team playing against South Africa recently,” said Bernard.

“It is going to be a tough series, but the good thing is that some of the other teams have young players also,” Bernard said. “Connie has the goods and as long as she and her senior players join together and be the unit to guide the younger ones, then we should give a good account of ourselves.

“They will have support in England when they are playing because the Jamaican support in England is very strong,” Bernard further noted.

“For me, what they will have to do is overcome the weather and nerves because I have a lot of confidence in Connie.”

The Sunshine Girls are scheduled to leave the island on January 15 and are to return on the 27th.

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