Kemba Duncan has been fired as the senior national women’s netball coach. So too, was team manager Ashelle Legall.
According to Duncan, the Tobago-born former national player, until she gets the official correspondence of her sacking, she will not know the full reason behind the surprising decision. She is expected to get the full reason behind her dismissal via email by Wednesday. She was informed of her dismissal through a discussion with T&T Netball Association (TTNA) president Sherryann Blackburn and vice president Lisa Stanislaus on Monday.
In an interview with Guardian Media Sports on Tuesday, Duncan said there were allegations discussed at the council level of the TTNA, but “to me, it didn’t happen”. Duncan asked: “If you have allegations, why don’t you have conversations with the parties and verify if it really happened.”
Both Duncan and Legall were part of the technical staff that worked with the “Calypso Girls”, who last month retained the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) title, which it won in 2018 and qualified them for next year’s Netball World Cup (NWC) set for Cape Town, South Africa.
At the Qualifiers held in Kingston, Jamaica, last month. T&T topped all seven teams - Barbados, Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, USA, St Vincent, and the Grenadines, Grenada, and St Lucia - vying for a spot in the NWC.
Hosts Jamaica had already qualified by virtue of their world ranking.
The former national defender was told the success of the team in Jamaica and their qualification to the World Cup was a result of the involvement of the high-performance coach from Australia Sue Hawkins, who served as an assistant coach. She was inserted as part of the national technical staff, according to Duncan, “a few days before the tournament started, which is unfair”.
Duncan notes it was “my work as a coach and the team’s effort” that were the reasons behind the performance in Jamaica and not the high-performance coach.
Meanwhile, a player who wished to remain anonymous said she is not happy with the handling of the issue as the players were only informed of the sacking on social media.
Blackburn told Guardian Media Sports, “I’m not at liberty to discuss the issue and will provide feedback as soon as I can.”