Aiken George returns, Plummer gets her chance
A return for a goal-shooting mainstay as well as a major championship debut for an emerging talent highlights a Netball World Cup squad that national head coach Connie Francis believes can end the decade-long wait for a podium finish.
Jamaica announced their 15-player squad that will compete at the Netball World Cup next month in South Africa yesterday highlighted by the return of Romelda Aiken George in her first major championship since maternity leave which kept her out of last year's Commonwealth Games. Crystal Plummer who had been introduced into the senior setup last year will make her World Cup debut.
Francis says that Aiken George's return brings a different facet to their shooting core which is welcomed.
"What I like about Romelda's game is that she peaks at the right time. She is on the top of her game. She has raised the bar and she has brought something different in the shooting circle. She can be a shooter that can hold and one that can rotate and go in motion," Francis told STAR Sports.
In particular, Francis is pleased with the development of Plummer, having started at the Netball Americas World Cup qualifiers last November in her getting her shot at her first major championship.
"The selectors and I are pretty excited about what she had given and what she has brought. She is versatile, she is hungry. Hopefully, she continues to grow and be that dynamic versatile player that she has transitioned into being," Francis said. "For the last couple of months, she has shown maturity and growth and she has learnt from those tournaments and has made an adjustment to the requirements to be in a world championship squad."
Jamaica has not been in the top three at a championship since 2007. Following their disappointing fifth-place finish in 2019 in Liverpool, England, Francis says that the improvements made in this cycle, highlighted by their Commonwealth Games silver last year, have put the Sunshine Girls in a better position to get back to where they belong.
"I'm proud of where our netball has reached. Personally for me. It has been a long time since we won a World Cup medal and we are more than capable this time. We just have to play our cards right to win a medal," Francis said. "We know that they are confident about the effort behind the work and are more than capable of getting the medal this time. I am really backing them."