Netball World Cup 2019: Pamela Cookey's verdict on Group C
Former England star Pamela Cookey assesses Group C sides; watch every match of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 live on Sky Sports from July 12-21
By Chloe Merrell & Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 10/07/19 9:05pm
Jamaica, South Africa, Fiji and Trinidad & Tobago battle it out in Group C at the Netball World Cup - Pamela Cookey gives us the lowdown on who to look out for in Liverpool.
The competition starts on Friday, July 12 and you can watch every match of the tournament live on Sky Sports.
This will be the 15th edition of netball's pinnacle tournament and it will be the third time England has played host after the inaugural competition in 1963 and Birmingham in 1995.
In total, 16 teams will contest for the ultimate prize, with Jamaica, South Africa, Fiji and Trinidad & Tobago battling it out for the three qualification places on offer in Group C, Pamela Cookey gives us the lowdown.
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- Best World Cup finish: 3rd
- INF Ranking: No. 2
- Coach: Marvette Anderson
- Nickname: Sunshine Girls
- Social Media: @NetballJamaica
Of the top five sides in the International Netball Federation, Jamaica are the one that fans in England will have seen least of in the build-up, but that will not make them any less for a threat for the title though. Why? Well, because the winners of the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 have a squad that is packed with talent.
It's a squad that's been hailed by their director of netball, Simone Forbes, as one of their "most complete" and she helped the Sunshine Girls to back-to-back bronze medals in 2003 and 2007 so she knows exactly what she's talking about.
Squad: Romelda Aiken, Shanice Beckford, Kodie-Ann Dehaney, Nicole Dixon, Stacian Facey, Jhaniele Fowler (Captain), Rebekah Robinson, Shamera Sterling, Adean Thomas, Jodi-Ann Ward, Vangelee Williams (Vice-captain), Khadijah Williams.
Expert verdict: I think that the Sunshine Girls are serious contenders for this World Cup Title with so much talent across the breath of the court and on the bench. Aiken, Fowler-Reid, Sterling, Dehaney are all playing this season for teams in Suncorp Super Netball with Ward and Facey having been in the VNSL. Added to this you have the experience of sharp and accurate Goal Attack in Beckford and mid-courter Dixon, this is a formidable team.
Jamaica have always been known for their flair and now they have the court craft to back it up. If they can get in front come semis and finals they will have confidence, play with freedom and may see themselves lifting the trophy for the first time in history - Pamela Cookey
- Best World Cup finish: 2nd
- INF Ranking: No. 5
- Coach: Norma Plummer
- Nickname: SPAR Proteas
- Social Media: @Netball_SA
In the most-recent Quad Series, Norma Plummer's side highlighted their considerable firepower with a victory over England and the host nation of the Netball World Cup 2023 will be eager to make a statement in Liverpool. With the former Australian Diamonds coach Plummer steering the ship, she knows a thing or two about World Cups having won two, the SPAR Proteas are a side to watch out for. Wasps Netball's Bongiwe Msomi will captain the side at her third tournament and watch out for defender Karla Pretorius too!
Squad: Erin Burger, Khanyisa Chawane, Maryka Holtzhausen, Phumza Maweni, Bongiwe Msomi (Captain), Izette Griesel, Leinze Potgieter, Karla Pretorius, Renske Stoltz, Shadine Van der Merwe, Sigi Burger, Zanele Vimbela.
Expert verdict: The Proteas are another fierce team. They have arguably the world's best Goal Defence in Karla Pretorius who is smashing it in Suncorp Super Netball. She has had the opportunity to play alongside her South African team-mate Phumza Maweni at Sunshine Coast Lightning under the guidance of arguably the current best coach in the world, Noeline Taurua.
South Africa's coach Norma Plummer has used her shrewd ways and over the years has developed players to the standard where they are getting regular court time overseas - Burger at Firebirds, Misomi at Wasps, Poitguiter at Steel and now Firebirds, Van der Merwe at Surrey Storm now Adelaide Thunderbirds and Holzthausen at Severn Stars. This team has tasted victory on the international stage and has run teams close. They have a belief that they never knew possible under Plummer. I still think though, that they need their starting seven to be available for all quarters of all the games against the top four. If this plays out they could seriously cause some upsets. - Pamela Cookey
Trinidad and Tobago
- Best World Cup finish: Winners '79 (won jointly with Australia and New Zealand)
- INF Ranking: No. 10
- Coach: Wesley 'Pepe' Gomes
- Nickname: Calypso Girls
- Social Media: @Netballtrinbago
"Netball is Art, the court is my canvas," that's the motto of Trinidad and Tobago's Kalifa McCollin and her perspective is shared across the side known as The Calypso Girls. Aerial netball, flair and fun are three words that you will most definitely associate with them.
They are the only team other than Australia and New Zealand to have won a Netball World Cup, back in 1979 when they shared the title with Australia and New Zealand, and high placings (third and equal second) followed suit in 1983 and 1987. Since then, the heights have not quite been met but don't discount them this time around.
Squad: Aniecia Baptiste, Candice Guerero, Onella Jack-Hill, Tahirah Hollingsworth, Jameela McCarthy, Kalifa McCollin, Shaquanda Greene, Rhonda John-Davis, Shantel Seemungal, Shernece Seemungal, Daystar Swift, Samantha Wallace.
Expert verdict: I'm looking forward to seeing the shooting combination of Wallace and McCollin. Two of the world's most accurate shooters - Wallace is sitting consistently over 95 per cent for NWS Swifts and McCollin averaged 93 per cent for Dragons in the VNSL at GA. When they get the ball in the circle they are proven to be lethal so will look to see what kind of service the mid-courters can provide. T&T have the experience of John-Davis coming into her fifth World Cup - known to her team-mate as "Eye in the sky" for her vision she should be the one to find her shooters nicely - Pamela Cookey
- Best World Cup finish: 6th
- INF Ranking: No. 17
- Coach: Vicki Wilson
- Nickname: Fiji Pearls
- Social Media: @FijiNetball
The team will get a chance to test themselves against the Silver Ferns at the end of July before their opening match of the tournament is against the Sunshine Girls on Friday, July 12.
Head coach Vicki Wilson is a former Australian shooter (and Ferns assistant) so the Fiji Pearls have a wealth of knowledge in their corner. In total, six members of their squad were in the side that finished fourth in the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in 2017.
Squad: Adi Vakaoca Bolakoro, Kaitlyn Fisher, Aliso Galo, Episake Kahatoka, Ema Mualuvu, Alisi Nawele, Kelera Nawai, Lydia Panapasa, Unaisi Rauluni, Asilika Sevutia, Aliti Toribau, Matila Vocea, Laisani Waqa, Merelita Waqanidrola, Matila Waqawai.
Expert verdict: The Fiji Pearls come into this competition having won all their qualifying games bar one against Samoa. Coming off a loss to the Silver Ferns 88-30 at the recent Cadbury Netball Series they struggled to cope with the defensive pressure. However, Fiji's GK Kahatoka showed great elevation and timing and could upset some of the Shooters in this competition. Only two players featured in the last World Cup four years ago, Kahatoka and Rauluni, where they finished 11th. Fiji boast a youthful squad for Liverpool, five are eligible for the World Youth Cup in 2021! With Head Coach Australian Hall of Fame inductee Vicki Wilson at the helm, Fiji will be eager to show what they can do and the promise for the future. - Pamela Cookey
**All Rankings based on matches up to June, 30 2019**
Watch every match of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 live on Sky Sports. Coverage starts on Friday, July 12 plus keep up to date with all of the latest competition news, results and enjoy in-depth features at skysports.com/netball.