NEWCASTLE, UK, May 13, 2016 – Grenada has the potential to regain a top netball ranking among Caribbean-playing nations, according to national coach Oberon Pitterson-Nattie.
Pitterson-Nattie believes there is local talent but creating a developmental pathway for the netballers to flourish is an important element in achieving that goal.
‘Of course, without a doubt. But what will be important is the work that is done at the schools and that is where it starts,” she told GrenadaSports.
“We have to create that developmental pathway so that you can see players improving as they go along. We have to look at the coaches who are working with the kids at schools.”
The next Netball World Cup will be played in England in 2019 and Pitterson-Nattie, a former national coach of Jamaica’s ‘Sunshine Girls’, believes Grenada could put together a ‘good team’ to qualify among the top 16 teams.
“I don’t see no reason why we can’t do it. It’s a tall task but it can be done and based on what we have…right now we have 17 year olds touring with the team, so can you imagine we have 19 year olds, 20 year olds who are touring with the team so it means that these are the girls in the three or four years and they should be ready for world championship,” she said.
The national team is currently on tour of the United Kingdom where it is participating in the Challenge Section of Netball Europe and posted victories against Israel, Gibraltar and Republic of Ireland.
The Grenadians defeated Israel in their opening match 87-19 and then took care of Gibraltar 82-38.
The Spice Girls led in all quarters against Israel 23-4, 44-12, 66-17 and restricted the Israelis to only two goals in the final quarter to win 87-19.
It was a similar domination against Gibraltar with scores of 18-10, 37-17, 57-28 and finally 82-38.
The Grenadian netballers also battled back from a first quarter deficit to beat Republic of Ireland 59-53 and will now play Switzerland on Saturday morning and the United States in the evening game.
“I am pleased with their performance and today’s game showed their resilience and showed that they have learnt what we were trying to do and they were able to execute. I told you today was a tough match and against a team like (Republic) of Ireland,” said Pitterson-Nattie.
However, the coach is encouraged by the performance of the team especially when they are faced with such challenges, as with the Irish.
“When you look at them on court, at times they looked a little off and at times they looked shaky but most of the times they were like business. When you looked at the first two games it’s not easy to score 80 plus in a day playing two matches. It means that they are well focused.”
Listen to Coach of the Grenada National Netball Team, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie