All Stars shine bright

Mixed netball returns back on the sports scene with its first pair of games tomorrow evening.

At 6:30pm Rawlinson and Hunter take on All Stars while Unity goes up against Roma.

The netball courts at Truman Bodden Sports Complex are set to be the site for the matches.

The teams involved are part of the 2009 Cayman Islands Netball Association Mixed League.

One of the teams onlookers can keep an eye out for is the All Stars netball squad.

All Stars, traditionally one of netball’s better teams, look especially strong for this competition. A host of big names are returning to the squad after spending time with other teams.

In addition last season’s winner First Caribbean is not returning this time around to defend their title. With All Stars having come second last time, all indications point to them being the favourite to win.

Netball luminary and association member Lyneth Monteith is a player/coach for the club and shed some light on those aspects.

‘First Caribbean is not coming back as Nicola Williams is not starting back the team. A lot of players on that team (including Nicola) were All Stars players previously and are coming back to our team.

‘Cynthia Collington, Stacy Reid, Omari Corbin and Nicola are some of the big names coming over to our team.’

In spite of those additions Monteith expects the league to be an unpredictable and competitive affair.

‘It should be very interesting. Basically a lot of the same teams are coming back and Storm Quik Cash have added themselves to the mix.

‘A few new interested people are in the league and the margin of competition has narrowed a lot. Remember last year First Caribbean had to work for the title.

‘It won’t be easy for us. It won’t be a walkthrough and the teams are not push-overs. Everyone is coming with something especially as the guys are getting better.’

Last season’s league was a hit among the men as many donned bibs and took to the netball courts. Surprisingly most, like Rhod Taylor, had a sporting background that included sports like basketball and flag football.

As Monteith says the guys bring a special dynamic to the sport.

‘As always when the guys are playing it adds an extra element to the games. There are a good cadre of guys who have been playing for three years or so.

‘On our team guys like Ovaine Monteith, Courtney and Andrew Wisdom and Rhod Taylor have basketball experience that translates to excellent leaping ability on the court.’

Monteith is one of the few persons in netball who is involved with almost every area. From officiating to playing to coaching there’s nothing she does not do in the sport.

Such a commitment can be tasking and in an effort to maximise her team’s performance she is reducing some of her duties.

‘Right now we’re working with a new person to get assistance with coaching,’ Monteith said. ‘It’s very tough for me to both play and coach the team.

‘From there we hope to pave the way for a second squad, a youth team, in the senior women’s league.’