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Barker names U-16s team to vie for first CNA title

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Following her mild outburst over the preparation of the national Under-16 team for the upcoming Caribbean Netball Association’s Jean Pierre Under-16 Tournament in Barbados, coach Janelle Barker has gotten some added help through physiotherapist Karelle Debique.

Barker was somewhat troubled by her underhanded staff which also includes manager Lynette Duncan, and the Patricea Butcher-led T&T Netball Association (TTNA) heeded her call and despite facing financial difficulties involved Debique, who comes with loads of experience with working the youth teams. She was part of the outfit when the junior team placed third, four years straight from 2009 to 2012 under the watch of then coach Naomi Babb.

Butcher said last week said that the TTNA would do all within its power to assist Barker and the junior “Calypso Girls” as they look for success at the regional competition which is set for March 31- April 10.

Leading the youngsters will be Thema Moses as captain and she will be supported by vice-captain Georgia Lee Gill. Moses operates in the centre-court as either the centre or wing-attack and at times the goal-defence when called upon. Gill is a shooter, who is also used on defence.

“Training continues as normal and everyone is focused and getting ready for the tournament,” said Duncan, who has also worked the junior unit for the past few years.

Barker, a former national captain and shooter, will throw her attention back to preparing the local team, which placed sixth in the seven-team tournament held last year in Castries, St Lucia, in her debut as coach of the junior side. 

Despite the challenges that she has faced, Barker who has been working with the youngsters since November will be hoping to upset the likes of reigning champion Barbados, Dominica and Grenada, which finished second and third, respectively in the development competition, named after the renowned international netballer, the late Jean Pierre of T&T, which started in 1998.

T&T has never won the U-16 title. The last time T&T finished among the top three was in 2012 when it placed third behind Barbados and St Lucia, respectively. The highest position it has ever reach was second in 2001, 2000 and in the inaugural year. 

The junior squad trains three days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays and was carded to start competing in practice matches against local teams, this week.

Team: Thema Moses (captain), Georgia Lee Gill (vice captain), Abigail Bosell, Chelsea Deleicia, Kashana Duncan, Maleeka Elias, Kadeema Herbert, Canice Jacobs, Zadekah James, Danella Paul, Nicolette Pereira, Kishawner Williams.

Standbys: Genesis Clifford, Dyese Sylvester, Aoleon Ramkissoon

Technical Staff: Janelle Barker (coach), Lynette Duncan (manager), Karielle De Bique (physio), Sherry Ann Blackburn (technical and development chairman).