Mon | Sep 20, 2021

Romelda will be back – netball president

Published:Tuesday | September 14, 2021 | 12:10 AM
Jamaica goal attack Romelda Aiken takes control of the ball during their Vitality Netball World Cup match against Fiji at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England on Friday, July 12, 2019.
Jamaica goal attack Romelda Aiken takes control of the ball during their Vitality Netball World Cup match against Fiji at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Netball Jamaica (NJ) President Tricia Robinson says that goalshooter Romelda Aiken, who is still a part of the national set-up, will be selected once her travel arrangements can be sorted out.

Aiken, 32, last represented the Sunshine Girls at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

In July 2020, the Australian government imposed a quarantine fee of US$3,000 (J$450,000) for Australians returning from overseas.

As she is an Australian citizen, she is required to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days upon her return from overseas travel, per Australia’s COVID-19 travel protocols.

The Sunshine Girls are now preparing to host a tri-nation series against South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago next month.

Robinson says Aiken is committed to the national team.

VALUABLE ASSET TO TEAM

“Romelda Aiken is a part of the national squad and as you are aware, we are operating in COVID-19, so logistically, it is a bit difficult for her to come home at this particular time to play,” she said. “Romelda is a top player in the sport of netball and she is a very valuable asset to the team.

“Logistically, we have been having difficulties bringing her here but we are certainly looking at her playing in England when we tour England in December at the Commonwealth Games in the summer next year.”

Aiken, who is six feet, four inches, has had a good season for the Queensland Firebirds in the Suncorp Super Netball in Australia this year where she finished fourth on the scoring chart with 531 goals.

Her national teammate Jhaniele Fowler tops the scoring table with 883 goals. However, Aiken was the top defensive rebounder in the competition with 87.

“She has performed very well in this Suncorp Super League and we are a close-knit team here in Jamaica because these girls live, eat, play netball together and once they are assembled, then you always expect the best from us,” Robinson said.

In the absence of Aiken, who has played 74 international games for the national team, the Sunshine Girls shooting department will be led by Fowler.

Fowler, 31, won her fourth consecutive Most Valuable Player award in the league.

The other shooters that have been selected in the absence of Aiken are Gezelle Allison and Rebekah Robinson, who both play in the Vitality Netball Superleague in England.

Allison, 25, who also plays goal attack, netted 78 goals from 101 attempts in 15 games for Wasps Netball.

Robinson scored 180 goals from 235 attempts for Celtic Dragons in 18 matches this season.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com