Young Plummer ready to impress on World Cup stage, as Sunshine Girls seek to break medal drought

By July 27, 2023
Crystal Plummer in action against England's Roses earlier this year. Crystal Plummer in action against England's Roses earlier this year.

Crystal Plummer may be the youngest player in Jamaica's squad at the Vitality Netball World Cup, but she is no slouch when it comes to rubbing shoulders with the proverbial big girls.

At 20 years old, Plummer possesses incredible physical prowess and the intensity that she paraded in her few senior Sunshine Girls games to date, is testament to the demands she puts on herself to always perform at her best.

It is that stubborn determination, coupled with an unwavering desire to succeed, that place her among a number of dangerous young prospects in South Africa, and she is definitely out to prove that much.

"This means everything to me, not only am I doing what I love and representing my country, but I'm about to do so on the biggest stage possible which is the best part," Plummer told SportsMax.tv.

"Being a part of the World Cup team with world class players like our captain Jhaniele Fowler, as well as Shamera Sterling, who is my role model, is just beyond amazing and a dream come through. So, I am very motivated and just looking forward to doing my utmost best to execute according to the team's game plans," she added.

The wing defence, who has been one of the standouts for Head coach Connie Francis since making her debut at the Americas qualifiers on home soil last year, was also a part of the team that toured England for a series against the Roses earlier this year and among the historic Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games winning team.

Those outings in which she grasped significant lessons has aided in improving her craft.

However, it has not always been smooth sailing for Plummer, who revealed that she struggles mentally after a tough game or training session, especially if she is convinced that she underperformed.

"My senior team journey has been full of fun and also disappointments, but I take the positives from those situations and just always aim to do better than I did before. Another positive is the fact that I have a tremendous support group in my family, friends, teammates and even fans, especially when I have my mental breakdowns when I think I did not perform as I wanted to," Plummer explained.

"But, again, it has taught me a lot in terms of where I am at currently in my career, I am very passionate and dedicated to netball and so I always aim to give my best for the team and country. Right now, I am more motivated to work hard to improve my skills and to become a better player," she shared.

Though diminutive and shy by nature, whenever Plummer touches the court, her true range and personality comes to light. With her creative movement, agility and ability, the GC Foster College student is eager to again rise to the occasion.

"Mentally I have set goals for myself, if there are any individual awards to be won, I want to make sure I am on that list of contenders and to do that I have to remain focused, believe in myself and try to be as consistent as possible each time I get on court. From a physical perspective, I am training hard and pushing myself to ensure I'm ready to go the distance if asked to," the former Holmwood Technical high stalwart said.

With the Jamaica having won only three bronze medals in 1991, 2003 and 2007, expectations are high that they will not only break that drought but more importantly, improve the quality of medal at this year’s edition in Cape Town.

They are scheduled to open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Friday, before opposing Wales on Saturday and South Africa, on Sunday.

By all indications, the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls should win all three encounters and Plummer agrees.

"Well at the moment, I am not nervous and that probably will change by game time, but from a team perspective, the team is ready and committed to the cause, we know what is at stake and we will be leaving it all on court to make the country proud.

"The ladies are experienced players, and they share pointers that they use to improve on their game to sharpen their skills and that had impacted not only my game positively, but the other young players as well. So, I am very excited and looking forward to doing great things with this team," Plummer noted.

Looking beyond the tournament, the soft-spoken and cheerful player is optimistic about landing a professional contract in one of the top overseas leagues.

"I am looking forward to or hoping to get a contact in Australia, New Zealand or England that’s the main goal for me right now. So every experience from here on will be invaluable and like I said, I just want to keep learning and improving," Plummer ended.

 

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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