The Flames Strikers figure to be a busy netball team over the coming days.
On one hand, the Cayman Islands Netball Association 2012 open league will be on its Easter break. On the other hand, Flames will take centre stage in the next league game on 14 April against Unity A. It will also be their regular season finale.
Flames captain Pheona Plummer, who works at a hair salon, states the focus is on securing a top four finish.
“We’re doing good but there is a lot more work we got to do,” Plummer said. “We can do it, we have a strong team. We have a chance to make it happen. Our Goal Shooter Marsha Campbell is excellent, our Goal Attack Latoya Nixon is shooting excellent, going for the ball and playing good. All of the other girls make us look good too.
“Head coach Wayne Brown is doing an excellent job and he had me working to be a perfectionist at what I do. After playing netball for three years, two of those with Rising Stars A, I appreciate that and it’s working.”
The game will impact the postseason picture as Flames are currently fourth in the standings at 5-3. Kemoya Goulbourne and Unity A are 3-4 and in hot pursuit, alongside a 4-3 All Stars B team featuring Tishelle Logan and sponsored by Cayman National Bank. The top four sides are slated to battle for the national championship while the bottom four clubs compete for the consolation trophy.
Coach Brown states Plummer is a big help in achieving his squad’s goals.
“Pheona and Squiddy (McGarvey) are instrumental in assisting as player assistants,” Brown said. “Our team is here for the young people who want to represent their country and eventually at an international level and onwards.
“The players and people around netball saw a lot of potential in me as an umpire. I also coached a team in Jamaica. I was asked by the association to coach this team. I felt the league needed another team that will make a difference and I accepted the offer. More people wanted to come on board and it went from there.”
Heading into this week, the 2012 standings see Kay Copeland and Roma A in first place at 7-1 after beating the previously unbeaten All Stars A last Saturday. All Stars, in spite of talents like Pauline Bodden, dropped to third at 6-1 as Rosemarie Wilson and Rising Stars A are now 7-1 after a convincing win over Claire Loebell and the Ernst and Young Hot Shots last Thursday. After Flames, comes All Stars B, Unity A, Rising Stars B (who are 2-5 after defeating Roma B last Saturday), Unity B (who are 1-6 after beating Roma B last Thursday), Ernst and Young (0-4) and Roma B (0-6).
Strikers scorer Latoya Nixon, 25, states there is room for improvement in her team.
“I’ve played netball from when I was a little girl and there is always place for improvement,” Nixon said. “From practicing with Wayne, he is strict, he pushes me and gets me to improve. It’s a different story from Maples last season as we pretty much coached ourselves. Things are looking good and I’m confident.”