Netball: Silver Ferns’ Taini Jamison Trophy series to continue despite half of Jamaican squad missing trip

New Zealand’s Maia Wilson and Jamaica’s Shamera Sterling during the Commonwealth Games. Photosport

Netball New Zealand is expected to make domestic loan players available for Jamaica after travel issues have meant almost half of their squad won’t arrive in time for the Taini Jamison Trophy.

The Sunshine Girls were set to arrive in Auckland last Friday for the Taini Jamison Trophy, but they didn’t receive essential travel paperwork until Sunday, forcing the series to be shortened and played in Auckland.

Only two tests will be played with the first set for tomorrow night at the North Shore’s Eventfinda Stadium and the second on Thursday at Pulman Arena in Takanini.

Seven of the Sunshine Girls have touched down in Auckland, with the other five along with the team doctor meant to arrive today. However, the remaining players won’t arrive in time for the two matches, threatening the integrity of the series.

Assistant coach Annette Daley insisted yesterday the team’s delayed arrival was simply out of their control and they had tried their best to remain calm over the past few days.

“Whenever you’re unsure about things sometimes you do get anxious. That is what we train for, because there is always the what if’s. There are situations you have absolutely no control over.

“It is how you manage those situations that are important and those are areas that we are working on with the ladies,” she said.

Jamaica is already missing some firepower for the series.

Goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler and goal keeper Shamera Sterling are absent as they are tied up with university requirements. Also missing from the side which earned silver at the Commonwealth Games are Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Jodi-Ann Ward and Shanice Beckford who are nursing injuries.

Daley says they’re using this series to focus on the future.

“We have some young players. We want to ensure that we are building on our squad. We want to make sure for the 2023 World Cup that we are pulling the best 12. It’s good we can expose some young players.”

When Daley was asked if her young side can beat the Silver Ferns, she didn’t seem confident.

“Well, let’s look at it this way. The ladies are coming to give their best and I am sure they will not disappoint.”

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