Having had much success as a player and now as a coach, former Sunshine Girls captain Nicole Aiken-Pinnock knows all too well about the significance of continuity which is why she is heartened by the presence and, by extension, the exposure of a number of young prospects to senior level competition.

Aiken-Pinnock, who during her time as a defender won a Netball World Cup bronze in 2007, among many other accolades, recently served as Head coach to Jamaica's team which won an historic gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador.

It is no secret that the involvement of youth in sports has the potential to generate positive effects on the fundamental skills for development and having watched the manner in which the young players, in particular, conducted themselves on and off the court in El Salvador, Aiken-Pinnock has no doubt that Jamaica's netball is in a good place.

"The young ladies were very responsive and positive from before they went into the tournament and it was amazing to see how well they conducted themselves professionally and supported each other which is what I think got us over the line, especially in the final against Trinidad and Tobago," Aiken-Pinnock told SportsMax.tv.

"This is a big year for netball in Jamaica and we can only get better from here. These young players are hungry to improve their skills and so we just have to keep working on them from early so we can improve on the quality of netball and that we can also build on the next cycle of players for next World Championship," she added.

 That next cycle Aiken-Pinnock referenced is due to the fact that a number of the country's stalwarts, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken-George and others, could possibly bow out of the sport after the upcoming Netball World Cup in South Africa.

It is for that reason why Aiken-Pinnock is even more pleased at the inclusion of rising stars Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland and Kimone Shaw in the 15-member squad to the July 28 to August 6 showpiece.

"I think it is very important that we have these young players in the squad, and I am pleased to see them there. Not only will they have a whole lot of experienced players around them that they can learn from, but being at the World Cup, which is the pinnacle of any player’s netball career, will give them great insight in what it takes to compete at the highest level, and what they need to instill into their own development to get there again," Aiken-Pinnock reasoned.

While the hope is that the Sunshine Girls will break a lengthy World Cup medal drought on this occasion, Aiken-Pinnock pointed out that even if it doesn't happen now, the fact that there is a good platform in place for continuity, means a podium finish could come at the next World Cup.

Along with that 2007 bronze medal, Jamaica also won bronze in 1991 and 2003, and have failed to get on the podium since then, placing fourth, fourth and fifth at the last three tournaments. 

"I am expecting the ladies to do their best, concentrate throughout the tournament, and just execute the quality netball that we know that they are able to showcase. Once they do that then I know they will be on the podium much like they did at the Commonwealth Games last year," she said.

"But for me the key is education and experience like I said, for the next cycle of players. The more we expose our young players to the highest levels of netball, both regionally and internationally, the closer we will get to achieving our objective.

"Once we have continuity within our system, then we will achieve consistent success and the historic CAC Games win which we are beyond grateful for was testament to that and also God's timing. Despite all our challenges, the ladies understood what our goals and objectives were, and they ensured they connected with and supported each other right through out that tournament," Aiken-Pinnock ended.

The Sunshine Girls squad is scheduled to depart for Cape Town on Friday and will open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Friday, July 28. They will then face Wales on Saturday, July 29, before a clash against South Africa on Sunday, July 30.

Jamaica's Netball World Cup squad: Romelda Aiken-George, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Rebecca Robinson, Nicole Dixon-Rochester, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland, Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Kimone Shaw, Shamera Sterling, Jodi-Ann Ward, Latanya Wilson

Sunshine Girls and West Coast Fever star, Jhaniele Fowler, has described winning her fifth Stacey Marinkovich Medal, awarded to the West Coast Fever’s MVP of the season, as an “amazing feeling.”

The dominant goal shooter led the Suncorp Super League in net points with 1516.5 and goals with 872, respectively.

Her 872 goals put her more than 200 goals clear of anybody else, with Donnell Wallam of the Queensland Firebirds coming closest with 669.

Fowler was also selected as the Fever’s Players’ Player of the Year.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m more than honored and elated to have been selected for this prestigious medal,” Fowler said.

She noted that having her family there to witness it made it more special.

“It definitely means a lot more to have them to celebrate this momentous accomplishment with,” she said.

With this being her fifth time winning the medal, Fowler was asked if this one felt any different than the others.

“It’s right up there with the other ones,” she said.

“Every year that I win this I try to not take it for granted because there’s a lot of work that goes into this, not only on my behalf but what my teammates have to put in for us to get here and for me to get here is so incredible. Each one means the same,” Fowler added.

Fowler will now turn her attention to the Netball World Cup set to begin on July 28 in South Africa.

“The next couple of weeks looks like me going in with my Jamaican teammates. We’re going into camp for a few weeks and then heading to the World Cup and taking that head on,” Fowler added.

Dominant goal shooter, Jhaniele Fowler, was named as the West Coast Fever’s Stacey Marinkovich Medal recipient for the fifth time after another dominant season in the Suncorp Super Netball League.

The medal, named after former Australian player Stacey Marinkovich, is awarded to the team’s Most Valuable Player for the season.

Fowler, who has also been named MVP of the league for the last five seasons, led the league in net points with 1516.5 and goals with 872, respectively.

Her 872 goals put her more than 200 goals clear of anybody else, with Donnell Wallam of the Queensland Firebirds coming closest with 669.

Fowler was also selected as the Fever’s Players’ Player of the Year.

Romelda Aiken-George’s New South Wales Swifts stunned Jhaniele Fowler’s defending champions West Coast Fever 65-64 to advance to the grand final of the Suncorp Super Netball League.

The Fever got out to a 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter at the Qudos Bank Arena in New South Wales on Saturday.

An 18-16 second quarter win for the Swifts meant the deficit between the teams at half-time was just two, with the defending champions ahead 35-33.

After the third quarter, the Fever enjoyed a 51-46 lead and looked set to get a chance to defend their title.

The Swifts had other ideas, however, and produced a stunning fourth quarter comeback, outscoring the Fever 19-13 to secure the one-point win and a trip to the title decider.

Aiken-George led the way with 25 goals from 26 attempts for the Swifts while Fowler scored 55 goals from 56 attempts for the Fever.

Their opponents in the Grand Final will be the Adelaide Thunderbirds, home of Sunshine Girls Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson.

The Swifts will be looking for revenge after the Thunderbirds beat them 64-62 in the preliminary finals.


Spurred by Jhaniele Fowler’s 55 goals, defending Suncorp Super League champions, West Coast Fever, defeated Melbourne Vixens 64-57 on Sunday to advance to the preliminary final against New South Wales Swifts on July 1.

 The winner will the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Grand Final set for July 8.

The Thunderbirds defeated the Swifts 64-62 on Saturday night.

In what was a tough match, Fowler playing before her home crowd at the RAC Arena, missed just one shot as Fever led each quarter 15-14, 17-16, 16-14, before opening up a seven-point lead after taking the final quarter 16-13.

Mwai Kumwenda only missed one of her 40 attempts to lead the scoring for the Vixens.

Over at the Qudos Bank Arena, Romelda Aiken George’s 29 goals were not enough to get the New South Wales Swifts against the Thunderbirds, who pulled off a dramatic 64-62 victory to book a place in the Grand Finals.

Helen Housby added 15 goals for the Swifts but Eleanor Cardwell’s 18 goals, 13 from Lucy Austin and 11 from Tippa Dwan were just enough to seal the Thunderbirds’ place in the final.

While acknowledging that playing in Australia has assisted in her development as a player to arguably become the best goal shooter in the world, Jamaica's ace Jhaniele Fowler says international players have given the Super Netball competition more flavour and flair.

Fowler, who represents the West Coast Fever shared her views in the midst of a debate about whether Super Netball should have a cap on international players, who currently make up 17.5 per cent of all players in the tournament.

Fowler, a five-time league MVP, believes the competition should remain open.

“International players do come in and make the competition rounded and exciting. We do bring a little bit of different flavour, a bit of flair, but just more talents and more skill set,” Fowler said in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Though the Australia Football League (AFL), the Australia Football League Women’s (AFLW) and the A-Leagues don’t have any official caps on international players –with the caveat that salary caps can limit star imports –the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) limits imports to two per team, while the National Basketball League (NBL) is capped at three.

In a global context, the Women’s Super League soccer competition in England has a “home grown players” clause where in a squad of 25 players registered in their squad cap, there must be at least 15 registered home-grown players. A home-grown player is someone who, irrespective of their nationality, has been registered with a club affiliated to the Football Association for three seasons – or 36 months – before their 21st birthday.

In the UK-based Netball Superleague, teams are permitted up to two overseas players, but a team cannot have more than one overseas player in the attacking, midcourt or defensive positions on the court at once.

But, where Super Netball is concerned, Fowler is one of seven Jamaican players in the Australian league, including Thunderbirds defensive duo Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson and Collingwood’s Shimona Nelson.

For Fowler, moving to Australia has made her a more complete player, as she pointed to improvements to her craft under elite coaches and, by extension, playing against the best in the world each week. But in the same breath, she is of the view that it is also a two-way street, as the Jamaican players have made the game more exciting.

“They’re amazing, they’re so athletic,” said Fowler.

“Just week in, week out, when you see the Jamaican players go out there, the commentators, everyone, has to talk about them because they have made such an impact in this league in their teams,” she added.

Former Diamonds head coach, and a current coaching mentor, Lisa Alexander, didn’t think there should be a cap on international players, but her stance was different while she was Australia’s coach.

“As a national coach with a different purpose, I thought differently in the past and did call for restrictions to be two imports per team. If we eventually become the best in the world like the NBA [is to basketball], then we must have a draft and salary cap,” she said.

Alexander explained that, without a cap, the Super Netball competition would continue to provide a world-class competition for Australian athletes to compete in, week in, week out.

Netball legend and Hall of Famer Jill McIntosh praised the strength of the league but pushed for a cap on the number of international players allowed in the competition.

McIntosh, who captained Australia to their 1983 World Cup win, said that while imports have been good for the league, she is worried that without a limit, potential Diamonds players could be benched.

“We’re not in the Olympics, so our World Cup is our pinnacle,” McIntosh said. “I want to see the sport survive and thrive.”

Meanwhile, veteran netballer Ash Brazill said she would like to see more teams added to the competition to give more opportunities to local players, given the spots taken up by international players.

“I can’t wait to see extra teams added to our league because in the end there are only 80 spots, and we have 25 internationals. It’s pretty hard as Australians to get one of those 55 spots that are left. I think we definitely need some more teams for the Australian pool,” said Brazill.

However, Fowler reiterated international players also improve world netball by affording more opportunities for players in countries that don’t have avenues to develop or play.

“I reckon it should just stay open because, if you look, there are still teams in the league that do not really have an international player on their team yet. I reckon I can safely say that, and if anything, some teams just maybe have one international player,” Fowler argued.

She continued: “But I reckon, yeah, bring the international players in, also give them the experience because other countries don’t have the competition back home to develop players.

“So, it would be good for netball on a whole because then you will see that the competition is not just Australia, New Zealand, England or Jamaica in top four – other countries are putting out and delivering as well. And then netball is just going to be even more exciting. You just don’t want to see the same countries winning all the time.”

That international rivalry will be put on show at the upcoming World Cup in Cape Town in next month, but first Fowler has a Super Netball semi-final to win.

Despite West Coast having an inconsistent season with “ups and downs”, the 36-year-old Fowler said they are proud to have finished in third spot, meaning they take on Melbourne Vixens in a knockout grand final rematch in which the Fever will have home-court advantage.

“Definitely, it will be pretty good coming up against the Vixens. They’re going to be a really tough team to beat, but we know that we have what it takes to win,” Fowler declared.

“The green army, they’re really loud, and they also always help to get us over the line, so we’re going to make sure to capitalize on having the home court,” she ended.

In an impressive display of shooting prowess, Jhaniele Fowler led the defending Suncorp Super League champions, West Coast Fever, to a 72-61 victory over the GIANTS at the RAC Arena on Saturday. Fowler's scoring prowess was on full display as she matched the GIANTS' final score of 61 points, missing only one shot throughout the match.

Contributing to the Fever's success, Sasha Glasgow maintained a perfect shooting record, going three for three and nailing four super shots. By halftime, the Fever held a narrow 37-33 lead.

Despite Jo Harten's 19 goals and the combined efforts of Matisse Letherbarrow and Sophie Dwyer, who both scored 10 goals, the GIANTS found themselves trailing by 10 points at the end of the third quarter. The Fever outscored them 21-15 in a dominant display.

Although the final quarter was a more evenly contested affair, the outcome of the match had already been decided.

With this victory, their ninth of the season, the Fever climbed to second place in the league standings. The New South Wales Swifts remain at the top of the table after a convincing 78-65 win against the Queensland Firebirds at the Nissan Arena. Romelda Aiken-George led the charge for the Swifts, racking up an impressive 43 goals. Supported by Helen Housby's 17 goals, the Swifts secured their 10th win of the season.

Despite Donnell Wallam's 34 goals for the Firebirds, it was another defeat for the team, marking their ninth loss of the season, and leaving them in seventh place in the league.

In the meantime, former league leaders Adelaide Thunderbirds slipped to third place after suffering a close 56-54 loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Jhaniele Fowler, one of the most imposing and skillful shooters in Netball, headlines a strong 15-member Sunshine Girls squad to the highly anticipated Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa later this year.

The Jamaicans, ranked number four in the world, will be hoping to improve on their disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool, with 10 players from that squad being retained for this year’s showpiece, scheduled for July 28 to August 6.

Expectations are high that the formidable mix of seasoned veterans, including Romelda Aiken-George, who recently returned from giving birth, and rising stars, such as Crystal Plummer, Kimone Shaw, Abigale Sutherland and Latanya Wilson, who have proven their mettle on previous occasions, will deliver exceptional results.

They will seek to add a gold or silver to the country’s three World Cup bronze medals won in 1991, 2003 and 2007.

Head coach Connie Francis, who will be assisted by Keyan Murdock, is anticipating a successful campaign with her team.

“All the players have been doing their work and are presenting well. The strength in depth of quality of players we now have at our disposal, fighting to get on court for the Sunshine Girls makes the selectors job very challenging and makes Jamaica a big threat to the top three countries going into the World Cup this summer,” said Francis.

“We have seven ladies currently playing in the Suncorp League and dominating the statistics at both ends of the court and locally we have our attacking core which includes three players who are making their third World Cup appearance,” she noted.

Specialist Coach Rob Wright, who will spearhead the team's strategic preparations, is also a part of the coaching staff.

Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson expressed sincere gratitude to all sponsors for their invaluable contributions in ensuring $41 million of the required $51 million for the team’s participation, is already in the bag.

This, she said emphasizes the critical role they play in helping Jamaica's netball team prepare for the World Cup.

“The support of our sponsors enables the team to focus on achieving greatness and represents our collective effort to elevate the sport to its rightful status with an elite world ranked team within the Nation’s sporting greats,” said Robinson.

The team will depart for their final training camp in South Africa on July 14, before bowing into World Cup action on July 28.

Squad: Romelda Aiken-George, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Rebecca Robinson, Nicole Dixon-Rochester, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland, Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Kimone Shaw, Shamera Sterling, Jodi-Ann Ward, Latanya Wilson


Jamaican goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler scored her 5000th Suncorp Super Netball league goal as her West Coast Fever narrowly came out 69-65 winners over the Sunshine Coast Lightning on Saturday.

Fowler converted 19 of her team’s first 20 goals in the first quarter as the Fever built a seven-point lead entering the second period.

The Lightning then had an improved showing in the second quarter, eventually losing 14-17 to enter halftime facing a 27-37 deficit.

The lead built by the Fever proved to be extremely important as the Lightning came out blazing in the second half winning the third and fourth quarters by six points, eventually coming up just four points shy of their opponents at the end of proceedings.

In total, Fowler converted 54 goals from 58 attempts to keep the defending champions third in the table on 32 points, two behind the Adelaide Thunderbirds and New South Wales Swifts, from 12 games.

Key defensive plays from Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson overcame another high-percentage shooting performance from Jhaniele Fowler as the Adelaide Thunderbirds pulled off another thrilling one-goal win 54-53 over the West Coast Fever at the Netball SA Stadium on Saturday.

Fowler, the Suncorp Super Netball League’s leading scorer, converted 42 of 43 attempts but it was not enough to prevent the reigning champions from falling to their fourth defeat of the season.

Wilson earned 74.5 Nissan Net Points and Sterling 63 for defensive play that held off the defending champions who led 20-12 after the first quarter. However, the league leaders managed to close the gap by the half-time interval after outscoring Fever 14-11 in the second.

The low-scoring encounter saw the Thunderbirds win the third and fourth quarters, 13-10 and 15-12, respectively to snatch another close win. Eleanor Cardwell converted 26 of her 30 shots and Lucy Austin scored six from six in the hard-fought victory.

Adelaide Thunderbirds now have eight wins and just two losses from their 11 games this season while Fever dropped to seven wins and four losses and are only third on goal difference over Melbourne Vixens who also have a record of seven wins and four losses.

The Vixens suffered their fourth loss of the season going down 70-62 to New South Wales Swifts, who got 29 goals from Romelda Aiken-George from 34 attempts and a perfect 16 from 16 from Helen Housby.

Mwai Kumwenda scored 33 of her 35 attempts for the Vixens.

Meanwhile, Shimona Nelson scored 53 goals from 56 attempts for the Collingwood Magpies, whose miserable season will be their last in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as they suffered yet another defeat.

The Magpies were outscored 66-62 by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in what was their ninth loss of the season.

Cara Koenen scored 34 from 35 and Steph Wood 20/24 for the Lightning who were picking up their fourth win of the season and are current fifth in the league standings.

Defending Suncorp Super Netball champions West Coast Fever lost their third match of the season going down 65-64 to New South Wales Swifts and slipped to third in the league standings after what was their third loss in their last four games.

The win means the Swifts, led by Romelda Aiken-George, who scored 28 of 34, leapfrogged the Fever into second place in the standings going into round 10 of the competition.

Jhaniele Fowler, the league’s leading scorer, scored a game-high 53 goals from 55 shots, and Natalie Butler three of four for the Fever, who were without their vice-captain Jess Anstiss and goal attack Sasha Glasgow, who were ruled out due to Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols.

The Swifts led 32-20 at half-time and despite a late rally from the Fever, they came up a goal short in the end.

Meanwhile, the Adelaide Thunderbirds maintained their position at the top of the standings after crushing the Queensland Firebirds 63-46.

Eleanor Cardwell led the scoring for the Thunderbirds with 27 from 32 and Lucy Austin, who supported with 19 from 21, while Shamera Sterling had six interceptions in what was a close match heading into the final quarter.

However, the Thunderbirds dominated the final stanza 24-9 to claim victory.

Shimona Nelson’s perfect night, scoring 46 goals from as many attempts, was unable to prevent the Collingwood Magpies from going down 69-56 to GIANTS.



Following their victory over GIANTS, Shamera Sterling’s Adelaide Thunderbirds are the new leaders of the Suncorp Super Netball League after defending champions West Coast Fever suffered only their second loss of the season on Saturday.

Led by Eleanor Cardwell near perfect 26 goals from 27 attempts and Lucy Austin’s 13 from 15, Thunderbirds led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. However, Jo Harten who scored 23 goals from 25 shots and Sophie Dwyer (17/20) closed the gap to three by half-time as GIANTS outscored Thunderbirds 15-13 in the second stanza.

GIANTS dominated the third quarter 13-9 and take a slim lead into the final quarter of the game but Thunderbirds rallied to win the quarter 14-9 and take the game 54-50 for their sixth win of the season.

Fever, meanwhile, went down 74-73 in a thriller to Melbourne Vixens despite a game-high 48 goals of 49 attempts from the league top scorer Jhaniele Fowler, who now has 446 goals on the season.

However, after both teams traded goals for the entire match, it was Kiera Austin’s super shot at the buzzer than kept the Vixens unbeaten at home this season and handed the defending champions their second loss of the season.

Mwai Kumwenda led the Vixens with 45 goals from 50 attempts while Austin scored 23 from 29 for her side that outscored Fever 18-16 in the first quarter before sharing honours 19-19 in the second to take a two goal lead into the break.

Fever rallied to take the third quarter 19-16 but thanks to Austin’s super shot, Vixens edged the final quarter 21-19 to secure their fifth win of the season.

In the battle between the teams at the foot of the table, Donnell Wallam scored a game high 64 goals from 65 attempts to lead the Queensland Firebirds to their second win of the season, a 73-67 win over Collingwood Magpies.

Shimona Nelson scored 56 goals from 58 attempts for the Magpies who were losing their sixth game of the season.





After five rounds of matches in the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball League, Jamaican players are dominating the elite netball league on both sides of the ball.

Many-time West Coast Fever MVP and 2022 champion Jhaniele Fowler leads all scorers with the most goals scored (280) and the most attempts (284). The towering Jamaican shooter has missed only four times since the start of the season for the unbeaten West Coast Fever.

Shimona Nelson who plays for the Collingwood Magpies is third in the standings with 217 goals and is also third in the number of attempts at 226.

Shamera Sterling of the Adelaide Thunderbirds has been just as impressive on the other side of the ball. The defender leads in the number of defensive rebounds (16) and deflections (40). She also leads in the number of Nissan Net Points (539).

Fowler lies fourth with 491.

Nissan Net Points are Suncorp Super Netball's first overarching player metric. They are a stats-based scoring system, run by Champion Data, that measures every player action on the court. Every time someone scores a goal, blocks a pass, gets a defensive rebound (and so on), they get points.

The bigger the impact, the bigger the points. If players make mistakes or cause turnovers, they lose points. At the end of the game, each player receives an individual Nissan Net Points score, which represents their contribution to the match.

Also on the defensive side, Jodi-Ann Ward of the Collingwood Magpies leads the league with 19 intercepts followed by Kadie-Ann Dehaney of Sunshine Coast Lightning with 15. Sterling is fourth with 12.

Romelda Aiken-George of New South Wales Swifts leads the league with 22 offensive rebounds while Nelson has 17 for third in the standings.


Jhanielle Fowler had another near perfect night but her West Coast Fever had to hold off a spirited comeback from the Queensland Firebirds to snatch their fifth-straight victory 73-71 in the Suncorp Super Netball League at the Nissan Arena on Saturday night.

The towering Jamaican goal shooter scored 60 of 61 shots as the defending champions outscored their opponents 25-15 and 18-15 over the first two quarters to take a 13-goal lead into the half-time break. Sasha Glasgow who was a perfect five for five and scored three of six super shots was also key to the victory as the Firebirds provided the champions with a genuine scare.

Whereas the Fever were dominant in the first half, the Firebirds showed that they too could play that game in the second.

Donnell Wallan, who scored 48 goals from 53 attempts and sunk seven of 10 super shots in the game, helped the Firebirds storm back to outscore the Fever 21-15 in the third and 25-20 in the final stanza. She got support from Emily Moore who was perfect inside the circle and who hit one of two super shots and Mia Mayer (2/2) and scored one of two super shots to come within two goals of the champions.

However, that was as close as they would get as the Fever desperately held on for the win.

Fowler has missed only four attempts on goal in five matches this season, scoring 280 goals from 284 attempts.

Meanwhile, Romelda Aiken-George scored 43 goals from 49 attempts to lead the New South Wales Swifts to a close 64-63 win over Sunshine Coast Lightning at the UniSC Arena.

Over at the Ken Rosewall Arena, Shimona Nelson scored 36 goals from 38 attempts but her Collingwood Magies lost 59-55 to GIANTS for whom Jo Harten scored 33 from 35 and Sophie Dwyer 20 from 22.




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