Ner­vous De­haney gears up for new Aus­tralian ex­pe­ri­ence

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

MICO UNIVER­SITY Col­lege’s Kadie-Ann De­haney is the lat­est Ja­maican net­baller to go the pro­fes­sional route as the for­mer St Hugh’s High player has been of­fered a one-year con­tract to play for Mel­bourne Vix­ens in the Aus­tralia Na­tional League.

The 20-year-old De­haney, who will leave the is­land in a few weeks’ time, will join two other Ja­maicans in the Aus­tralian league, which is set to be­gin in Fe­bru­ary next year.

Malysha Kelly, who re­cently cap­tained the Sun­shine Girls in the re­cent three-match se­ries against New Zealand, in New Zealand, will take up a one-year con­tract with the Ade­laide Thun­der­birds, while shooter Romelda Aiken has been a mem­ber of the Queens­land Fire­birds since 2008.

Five other Ja­maicans will also ply their trade in Eng­land soon.

De­haney, who started her netball ca­reer at Mel­rose Ju­nior High School and who has rep­re­sented Molynes United since her early days at Mel­rose, is ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity to go over­seas but has mixed feel­ings.

“I am ner­vous and I am puz­zled be­cause it will be a new cul­ture for me. But at the same time, it will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I’ve al­ways wanted to play at the high­est level,” said De­haney.

She con­tin­ued: “I was look­ing for­ward to rep­re­sent­ing Mico at the in­ter-col­le­giate level be­cause this would have been a new chal­lenge for me af­ter do­ing so well at the high school level, and af­ter go­ing through ori­en­ta­tion and meet­ing a lot of new friends, it is kind of sad not to be spend­ing more time with them.”

De­haney, who will be the youngest Ja­maican to go on a pro­fes­sional netball con­tract, is still keen on ed­u­ca­tion. Na­tional Un­der-21 and se­nior Sun­shine Girl Kadie-Ann De­haney (right) signs a pro­fes­sional con­tract for Aus­tralia’s Mel­bourne Vix­ens netball team at the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI) Sem­i­nar Room. Look­ing on is Pres­i­dent of Netball Ja­maica, Dr Paula Daley-Mor­ris.

“Aca­demics is very im­por­tant to me, and I want to know that when I go there, I can still con­tinue with my school­ing as I do not want to know that my friends are mov­ing for­ward here and I am fall­ing back, so this is some­thing I will be mak­ing sure to con­tinue when I leave,” said De­haney.

She pointed out that she thought twice be­fore tak­ing this de­ci­sion, not­ing that her grand­mother played a key role.

De­spite her ten­der age, De­haney has had in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence as part of the suc­cess­ful Ja­maica Un­der-16 team

which toured Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land, for a three-match se­ries in 2012; Ja­maica se­nior team which par­tic­i­pated in the World Cup last year in Aus­tralia; and Ja­maica’s Un­der 21 team which played against Eng­land in a five-match se­ries last sum­mer.

Pres­i­dent of Netball Ja­maica, Dr. Paula Daley-Mor­ris, says the move au­gurs well for the coun­try’s netball.

“I am very elated that KadieAnn has got the op­por­tu­nity to go over­seas to play be­cause this is what we need for our play­ers, for them to play con­sis­tently at

the high­est level as this will only help them to get bet­ter,” said Daley-Mor­ris.

“Def­i­nitely, the ex­pe­ri­ence will do her a whole lot of good and it is also good for netball in the coun­try when sev­eral of these play­ers can get con­tracts to go over­seas and play. This is telling us that peo­ple are look­ing on our netball, and I am happy that I am at the helm and hope­fully, af­ter get­ting all the ex­pe­ri­ence, these play­ers will come back and rep­re­sent the coun­try of their birth,” said Daley-Mor­ris. 2016 HAS seen its fair share of big sport­ing mo­ments. For Ja­maicans.

The Olympic sprint dou­bles by Usain Bolt and Elaine Thomp­son prob­a­bly top the charts, with the twin tri­umphs by the West Indies at the World Twenty20 World Cup be­ing the big­gest ac­com­plish­ments early in the year.

Rank­ing right up there is a vic­tory over grief.

Just days af­ter their son, Do­minic James col­lapsed dur­ing a Man­ning Cup game, his par­ents David and De­nese came to watch last Fri­day’s match be­tween St Ge­orge’s Col­lege, which their son cap­tained at the time of his death, and Greater Port­more High School.

To make their in­tent clear, they came wear­ing shirts their son wore dur­ing his time rep­re­sent­ing St Ge­orge’s. It would have been eas­ier to stay away but the Jame­ses came for­ward to in­spire their son’s team­mates.

They wore light blue, but their courage and dig­nity are an ex­am­ple for ev­ery Ja­maican. I don’t know how many of us could do that. I know I couldn’t. In some

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