Manager raps player’s omission
That’s how the manager of Guardian General Pride of Villa netball club feels about the omission of their goal attack Nadia Blackman from the senior team which was recently selected for the World Championships slated for Singapore next week.
Blackman, a potent and clinical shooter has been a part of the senior make up for over a year now, representing the country in St Lucia for the Commonwealth qualifiers, a friendly series in England, the Commonwealth Games in India and most recently in Trinidad and Tobago in a preparation series for the World Games.
Her time in the national team has been quite fruitful since her initial inclusion, often being used as a reserve shooter, yet making the most of her chances given. In Trinidad recently, she wowed not only the coach but board members, who travelled to watch the team’s performance; scoring nine goals from 11 attempts in the mere two quarters she was given in the two-match series.
With coach Alwyn Babb’s words in her mind; “show them (board members) what you can do,” Blackman did just that and was optimistic about attending her first World Games.
Beverley Blackman, manager of Guardian General Pride of Villa and mother of Nadia was disappointed but not surprised.
She claimed that particular board members were against Nadia being selected and believes the board is throwing its weight around to “call the shots”, as far as team selection is concerned.
She said this because, the player who Nadia was dropped for, plays a different position. the player is a mid-court player while Nadia is a shooter.
Beverley saw this as a rare occurrence because it left the team at somewhat of an imbalance with three shooters and five mid-court players as opposed to the usual four in each division.
But when contacted yesterday, secretary of the Barbados Netball Association Nisha Cummings made it clear that board members did not influence the selection of the team, which leave today for Singapore.
“The team was selected by a selection committee and submitted to the board for ratification. There is a board member who is a selector but he was not a part of the ratification process to avoid a conflict of interest so he couldn’t influence the board,” she said.
Cummings also pointed out that the players were told that the team which went to Trinidad and Tobago for a tune-up series was not a final selection to go to Singapore.
“That tour gave the management the opportunity to see the players and the selectors, in conjunction with the coach, decided on the final team. It is a very experienced team. It was not a case of anyone being left out unfairly. As the coach (Alwyn Babb) mentioned, it was a tough selection,” she said.
Blackman senior also claimed that one of the players going to the World Games, apparently requested two weeks off to compete in another competition and yet was selected, while another player was not so fortunate to be selected for the Commonwealth Games after also requesting a two-week leave of absence.
The Pride of Villa manager believes this is a personal vendetta by the board against her team.
Latonya Blackman, who is vice-captain and two reserves in Nadia and Makeeba Clarke, who was also part of the Trinidad tour, Beverley maintained that board members who are affiliated with particular clubs, the players of those clubs are given preferential treatment.
Despite not being selected both Nadia and Beverley wish the team well.