Next up on our countdown to Fast5, we take a in depth look at Jamaica and their chances in Melbourne.
Having been present in every single Fast5 World Series, Jamaica will know exactly what to expect when they arrive in Melbourne. In the inaugural competition (then the Fastnet) they finished as runners up – their best finish. Last years campaign was not so memorable however, as Jamaica finished 5th, their worse. What will the 2017 tournament hold for Jamaica?
The return of Jhaniele Fowler-Reid will certainly give the Sunshine Girls a boost, as she will play her first Fast5 tournament for two years. She captains the side that is coached by Sasher-Gaye Henry.
The coach has selected a side consisting a blend of experience and youth. The experienced pairing of Malysha Kelly and Paula Thompson, who has represented their country at the Commonwealth Games on previous occasions, will line up alongside four players who have played for Jamaica in the 2015 World Cup. Shanice Beckford, Stacian Facey, Vangelee Williams and Fast5 captain Jhaniele Fowler-Reid were present in Sydney in 2015.
Alongside these familiar faces will be a relatively newer one, in Shimona Nelson. Nelson represented the under 21s at the recent Netball World Youth Cup and has since earned a spot in the Fast5 squad. The shooter has recently signed to play club netball for the Adelaide Thunderbirds and will want to make an impression on Australian soil during the Fast5.
The Sunshine Girls scored the least amount out of the six sides at last years tournament with 135 goals. However, this year with a strong squad, full of returning players that balances experience and youth, can Jamaica be the underdogs and pull off their best Fast5 World Series performance yet?
Jamaica’s first game is against South Africa. They play their final round robin game on the Sunday against England.
Keep up to date across our social media for the latest updates on this years Fast5 Netball World Series (@IntNetball).
(Photo credit – @NetballJamaica)