More games will make them better

“They need to play more netball.
They can’t just play six or so games in school competitions and that’s it. They
have to play more teams and that will make them better.”

That is what Whanda Fuad said after
Cayman’s U16 netball team returned home from Barbados. There the squad took part
in the Jean Pierre memorial tournament, one of the larger Caribbean
netball competitions.

Fuad served as team manager and saw
Cayman place fourth in its four-team division. Cayman faced Bermuda, St. Kitts
and Guyana
over the course of six games.

Joining Fuad on the sidelines was
head coach Lyneth Monteith along with assistant coaches Molly-Ann Moore and
Adena Miller.

Cayman’s only win came 19-18 over St.
Kitts with Bermuda emerging overall champions.
On the whole Fuad felt fitness was the biggest setback for the Cayman girls.

“Personally I think with most of
them being first time competitors in an arena like that it was rough for the
girls,” Fuad said. “The first game was a wake-up call and by the second game they
realized they had potential.

“I wouldn’t say the teams played
better but they were fitter; that’s where we lost, in fitness, not in passing
or any of the fundamentals. The more they play the more they learn. They have
to be exposed to more games and tournaments.”

Nevertheless there were some
positives for Cayman. A few of the newcomers did well and Cayman excelled on
both ends of the court in their win. Fuad talked about those areas.

“There was nothing easy for us all
the way through. In that win over St. Kitts the shooting and defending could be
built upon as it was better in that game than the rest. On the whole, though
the girls lost they didn’t lose by much.

“Once they get the extra exposure
they’ll be a force in the region. Tovina Gilpin and Shanai Allen really impressed
me. Tovina was goal defense and from the first game to the end she improved 150
percent.

“Shanai was wing attack and the
youngest player at 11 years-old. She showed great hustle and was there for her
team-mates when needed.”

In all about 12 girls were picked
to play for Cayman. In addition to Allen and Gilpin there was: Noviann McLean,
Kadejah Bodden, Hannah Peralta, Tracey Hydes, Kristen Forbes, Sarah Hale, Kristina
Watler, Glennique Bodden, Rosemarie Wilson and Lexie Solomon.

Ultimately Fuad feels the girls,
especially stars Solomon and Wilson, can only get better in time.

“Rose and Lexie didn’t play up to
the standard of being in their second tournament. They just lacked focus. They
knew what to expect and it was up to them to step up. Like the other girls
there was no lack of training as we worked with the team since January.

“From here the girls will take a
break and then start back training. We can’t wait ‘til next year to start back.
We have to improve on our showing this time even if we keep the same players.

“We’re hoping to encourage more
girls to come out because we left this year with only a handful to choose
from.”

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