Roma netball club have much to smile about these days. Its A team, the defending champions, went through the regular season campaign unbeaten and its B team, with the likes of Avril Myers, came a respectable fifth in its inaugural season.
With the playoffs for the 2011 Cayman islands Netball Association open league approaching, feelings in the club are positive. Among those that are pleased with the ladies’ form is Roma sports club president Robert Sairsingh. A supporter of local squash, Sairsingh heads a sports entity with a big presence in local football.
Sairsingh, who attends many netball matches to support both teams, states Roma has been solid in 2011.
“I look at the success of both teams with a whole lot of joy and a sense of accomplishment,” Sairsingh said. “We know the preparation and work we put into the team. A lot of it is due to Stacy-Ann Dehaney who is a player along with team manager and head coach. She has done well but it has definitely been a team effort up to now.
“The team leaders have stepped up to ensure girls turn up to practice and give their all in games. Nicola Pringle, Carrie Barnett, Stacy and Sudan Powell are the main four for us; with Paula Hughes part of the core of the A team.
“The A team is confident and we expect to continue our good performances. We never under-estimate All Stars and Rising Stars A though as both have performed well. I’d say those are the two clubs that present the biggest challenges for us. But each game we’re taking seriously. It’s not a matter of name-calling certain players because we just have to play well as a team.”
The statistics show Roma go into the postseason as the most dominant side. They have scored the second-most amount of points with 341 goals while boasting the best defence by allowing just 138 goals. It is that defence, steadied by Powell and Barnett, that has Sairsingh satisfied with his team’s on-court play. “The team is well balanced. We have two of the top shooters in the game in Kay Copeland and Nicola Pringle. Kay in fact won the title of top shooter the last two years. Carrie is strong on defence and she has had a great year. We’re strong in the middle with Dazema Ricketts. Now we’re going to keep everyone together and keep them focused.”
Top shooter Pringle echoed Sairsingh’s sentiments. Pringle states defence will be the reason Roma repeat their 2010 effort when they defeated All Stars for the open league championship.
“We feel great and we know we can do it,” Pringle said. “Our defence is the best with Sudan, Carrie, Paula Hughes and Ramona Denton at the top of their games. Our defence is the force to be reckoned with. We also have strong middle court players and attackers. We’re going in confident that we can retain our title and win it again.
“Everyone is doing their part, especially Dazema as a centre and first-year player. Everyone is gelling together and everything is there. The only problem I see is our fitness level because that’s the only thing that can beat us.”