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BARBADOS netball - Strong Under-16 netball team

Date December 08, 2005 by Sherrylyn Clarke

Compliments of the Nation News

THE INCLUSION of two players with more senior experience, along with some who are returning, has resulted in a strong Barbados team for this year's Caribbean Netball Association Under-16 Championships.

Included in the team are Shakira Springer, who went to the World Youth Tournament in Florida, United States, this summer, and Samantha Browne, who made her debut with the senior squad in a recent triangular tournament in Jamaica against the hosts and world champions New Zealand.

"Shakira is always motivating the girls and encouraging them to play when they are on court and with Samantha making the senior team to Jamaica, she is an asset in defence," said coach Sonia Banfield.

The fact that Browne has represented the national team at age 16 is in itself an achievement. Banfield believes she may have been the last person to do that in 1978.

"I can't remember anyone making the national team at age 16 except for me. I may be speaking out of turn. Other players may have been young, but not as young as 16."

Shakira is the team captain and is a more attacking player who led Queen's College into the finals of the secondary schools' Under-19 competition, while Browne is the daughter of former national player Jackie Browne.

She is one of four girls who were on last year's team that finished third. The others are vice-captain Jalissa Lovell, Abeje Carrington and Shanise Banfield, daughter of the coach.

"This year they look a lot stronger in terms of play and they look a lot better than when we started," Banfield told NATIONSPORT.

"The shooters look good. They only need to pass around the ball and get closer to the pole instead of taking the long shots and making their averages look bad. I have not seen the other teams, but my defence is also strong."

Banfield said she was unable to get practice games with past Under-16 team players, so they had been working on team defence and the shooting.

However, the recent Under-19 competition helped to give the girls some match fitness ahead of the December 10 to 16 competition in St Kitts. Most of the players represented their school in that competition.

She said both Shanise and Abeje, who played for the victorious Springer Memorial team, showed a greater level of understanding and played around the ball a lot more than they usually would. She said it was a "very good final".

Having taken over at the last minute last year, she has a good idea of the standard of the competition and what to expect.

"My goal is to play one game at a time. The first game is against Trinidad and Tobago so we won't get to see them, but when we are not playing, we will watch the other teams play and then go to practice, try to counteract their mistakes and play ahead of them," the coach said.

They leave the island tomorrow.

The squad: Shakira Springer (captain), Jalissa Lovell (vice-captain), Samantha Browne, Abeje Carrington, Shekira Boxhill, Damisha Corney, Sheena Small, Kathrina Williams, Jeneice Clarke, Jehlesal Brathwaite, Shanice Banfield, Kiesha Davis (reserve), Katrina Kirton (reserve), Sonia Banfield (coach), Denese Morgan (manager), Nisha Cummins (assistant manager)

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