Netball

Fijian Pearls Get Jill McIntosh To Assist

McIntosh coached the Diamonds between 1995 and 2003 and her 94 tests in charge is the most of any national coach.
14 Jun 2019 13:45
Fijian Pearls Get Jill McIntosh To Assist
Some players of the Fijian Pearls in Brisbane, Australia.

Former Australian Diamonds coach Jill McIntosh and Netball Australia Hall of Famer is helping out the Fijian Pearls who are now undergoing a three-week training camp in Brisbane.

Fijian Pearls head coach Vicki Wilson said they are fortunate to get the top assist from on one of world’s top coaches in preparing for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England on July 12-21.

“Through the funding by the Australian Government, we are fortunate to have Jill McIntosh, one of the world’s best coaches in camp with us for three weeks,”Wilson said.

McIntosh coached the Diamonds between 1995 and 2003 and her 94 tests in charge is the most of any national coach.

WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE

“Jill has a wealth of knowledge and is very hands-on assisting me to deliver a daily training environment to the Pearls,” Wilson said.

“All the players are so grateful to have this individual attention at every training and practice games.

“With 15 players in the squad it is vital that we run small group specific sessions focusing on individual skills and unit strategies.”

NEW TRAINING ENVIRONMENT

Wilson was impressed with the facilities and high performance environment the team is training on in Brisbane.

With athletes based- in Suva, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the training camp, funded by the Australian Government, was an invaluable opportunity for the squad to train together in a high-performance environment.

Wilson is thrilled to be able to put her team in a daily training environment.

“To have this camp here in Brisbane, really is a dream come true because we’re on a full-size netball court,” Wilson said.

“A court that is three metres too short is the reality of training in the Pacific Islands region.

In Suva, sharing the only indoor court facility with three other sports, the team often has to train outside on a grassed helicopter-landing pad.

Although surrounded by beautiful beaches and tropical rainforest, this isn’t the place to prepare the team for an international competition.

“They don’t have the depth of players, they don’t have the infrastructure, the facilities or the competitions.

MASSIVE GAP

“There is a massive gap between the top six teams in the world to the rest of the world. It is tough financially to compete and we need leading nations like Australia to play a leading role.

“The funding from the Australian Government has provided us with the simple things – bus fares to get them to training, recovery food, sports bras, correct footwear and socks so they don’t get blisters.”

Wilson plans to build the endurance motor of her players and replicate the World Cup draw and have the team play six consecutive games without a break against State league teams in the second week of the camp.

“We’re making the most out of what this opportunity brings to be able to have team meetings, to be able to review vision, to be able to have one-on-ones, to be able to bond as a team.”

SUPER NETBALL

The Pearls watched the Queensland Firebirds up against the Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts in the Suncorp Super Netball last Sunday.

“It’s wonderful for the team to see where high-performance sport is at and to see how special they are to represent Fiji and they are one of few people who have done that.

“We’re so lucky to be here to be able to go and see Suncorp Super Netball, the girls were blown away.”

The Pearls will finalise their preparations by heading to Auckland on June 22 to compete in a test series against the Silver Ferns, NZ All Stars and NZ men’s teams.

-Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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