Thursday 25 July 2023, Balmain, Couva
For the pragmatist, the Calypso Girls are up against it come tip off with a formidable Pool D when they bounce off the 2023 Netball World Cup come tomorrow (July 28) against defending champions New Zealand.
The Silver Ferns and Australia are the perennial champions of the tournament and have been rather averse to sharing the title with anyone else. In fact, T&T are the only other team to bear the distinction of hoisting the World Cup trophy: back in 1979 hosts T&T held that honour in conjunction with the aforementioned giants of the game.
Fast-forward to 2023, and the current Calypso Girls crop are hanging just outside the ranked positions at 11th, with the hope of dodging their way into Stage 2. To do so, they must also get past Uganda (8th) and Singapore (currently 28th). It’s a challenging prospect; however, a comeback must start somewhere, and no event offers an opportunity like the Netball World Cup.
So New Zealand it is tomorrow. Team T&T—shepherded by coach Joel Young-Strong—are aware of the task ahead. Come what may, the most important job is to represent the Red, White and Black with fearlessness and energy, remember their training and leave it all out on the court.
Co-captain Afeisha Noel is among those T&T players already with a chip on her shoulder.
Before the tournament, she stated: “Playing Uganda and New Zealand in the 2022 Commonwealth Games last year, and losing to them, has really given me a drive to want to do better. I have been playing and thinking about strategies about how to improve or score against them.”
For Noel, Singapore is a lesser-known entity T&T will face on July 29th, before closing out Pool D against Uganda, in what will likely be a must-win clash. Everything is possible. This is a chance for Noel and company to pivot up the rankings ladder, rung by rung.
Best of luck to our Calypso Girls! #RedWhiteandBlack #CalypsoGirls #NetballWorldCup
Cover Photo courtesy TTNA by @ttgameplan