KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Newly-appointed Sunshine Girls head coach, Connie Francis, has expressed concern about the lack of international match practice ahead of next month’s Nations Cup in England.The veteran coach said the squad, yet to be announced, had been training well but the lack of actual court time had been the obvious flaw in the side’s preparation.“It’s a challenging task because the other countries have already been in match mode and we are in preparation mode,” Francis told the Gleaner newspaper here.“But, I am quite confident that they will do their best because they have been doing their best in training.”She added: “They have been improving, but our only shortcoming is that we have not gotten any international matches. But we have been practising against a male team and it is work in progress.”The Sunshine Girls will clash with the top-ranked likes of world champions New Zealand, England and South Africa in the tournament which runs from January 19 to 26 in Nottingham, Birmingham and London.They open their campaign against South Africa at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on January 19 before taking on the Silver Ferns in Birmingham three days later.Jamaica face England in their final game on January 25 at the Copper Box Arena in London.The outing will be the country’s first since their disappointing campaign at the World Cup last July also in England when they finished fifth.Francis, who was appointed head coach last October after Netball Jamaica sacked Marvette Anderson in the wake of the World Cup results, said her side was in a race against time to get fully prepared for the competition.Of importance, she pointed out, were improving fitness level and working on tactical approaches.“Our fitness has to improve and our fitness trainer has been working tirelessly with them,” Francis explained.“Exams are out of the way now and so they can be at training more often because the exams were really drawback for us and so now we can work on our tactical plays.”“We will be going up against three good teams and I have to do all the video analyses ahead of the series.”She added: “I have been encouraging them to look at the games that these teams have been playing and I’m certain I will come up with my plans to see how best we can go up against them.”
While the Cardinals are reportedly “close” on a deal to trade Rosen to the Dolphins, Smith and an NFL Network panel debated Rosen’s fate, and Smith went off.”You are replaceable … so now you’re mad because they brought some competition in here, so you’re going to try to take your ball?” Smith asked rhetorically. “Well, first of all son, it’s not your damn ball to take anyway. Related News “You just keep playing with your phone and you keep showing us what the stigma of … who you were at UCLA, now you’ve brought it to the professional level. When things don’t go your way, you’re going to cry in the corner. But guess what, they’re going to ship your a— somewhere else, and you’re going to cry and be their problem.”This is a man’s game, be a man, and go against that man one on one … do your deal. Ain’t nobody giving you nothing. NFL trade rumors: Josh Rosen traded to Dolphins after Cardinals draft Kyler Murray Did Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen do something to tee off Steve Smith?The former NFL All-Pro wide receiver, now an NFL Network analyst, mercilessly ripped Rosen during a broadcast Friday. Rosen, the Cardinals’ No. 1 pick a year ago, had been criticized by some for unfollowing the Cardinals on social media after they drafted QB Kyler Murray on Thursday with the No. 1 pick. When it was suggested Rosen might be on the Cardinals’ roster for training camp, Smith went off again.”You know why he won’t be on the roster? He ain’t got enough heart to be on that roster,” Smith said. “He got to go out there and work his a— off. He don’t want to work. He wants something given to him.”While some on social media applauded Smith’s harsh remarks, others thought he was out of line.Thoughts3If Steve Smith got picked in first round, and after that year a new coach said Smith is my guy, my starter, and then 2 months later drafted someone to replace Steve Smith, would Steve say, “I’ve got to man up+beat out the new guy?”Doubt it. He’d be bitter. Justifiably.— Peter King (@peter_king) April 26, 2019This felt a little over the top. I respect Steve’s work to become a thoughtful host, but everyone has prejudices. And people who were ordained early on (five-star recruits, first-round picks), who grew up in comfortable circumstances are never going to be his style. https://t.co/eaBE2G2kKU— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) April 26, 2019Rosen, selected No. 10 overall by the Cardinals last year, struggled last season with an undermanned Arizona offense, passing for 2,278 yards (5.8 yards per attempt) with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 13 starts.