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Jamaican shooter accepts Aussie contract

Friday, January 25, 2008

NATIONAL senior netball team goal-shooter, Romelda Aiken, has accepted an offer to play for Australian side Queensland Firebirds in the inaugural Trans-Tasman semi-professional league.

The Observer reported last week that the 19-year old had been offered a contract to play for an Aussie outfit in the league after she impressed scouts with her performance at the World Netball Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, last November, where she was the tournament's top shooter with 252 goals in six games played.

"It's a good opportunity... I want to see what the experience is like and play among some of the best players and see if I can get better at my game," Aiken told the Observer of her decision to play in Australia.

The former Central High School student plays for three-time JNBS Open League and five-time Berger Paints Super League champions Jamalco locally and told the Observer she would miss playing with the team, especially in the Berger League which starts shortly.

"I feel bad knowing we'll be going into the Berger League and I won't be there," she said.

Aiken is scheduled to leave the island on February 3 for Brisbane where she will be based with a local family until the league, which begins in April, ends in July.

The Trans-Tasman league is a merged competition between the premier netball competitions in New Zealand and Australia and will feature five teams from each country.

Top netball players from Australia, New Zealand and England are expected to play in the league. Former Australian captain, Vicki Wilson, will coach the Queensland Firebirds.

Sunshine Girls' vice-captain Simone Forbes, centre Sharon Wiles, goalkeeper Kasey Evering and centre Nadine Bryan also impressed scouts but opted not to accept any offers.

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