11 Jul 2011

Sport: Call for Pacific sides to begin world champs planning earlier

10:22 am on 11 July 2011

Fiji and Samoa ended the World Netball Championships on a disappointing note.

Fiji lost the ninth place playoff against Wales 62-47, a team they had earlier beaten by ten goals in pool play, while Samoa were thrashed 68-45 in the 11th place playoff by Barbados.

Fiji had entered the tournament as the worlds fifth-ranked team while Samoa stated their aim was to make the quarter finals.

The former New Zealand and Fiji coach Yvonne Willering says the Pacific sides are competitive in their own regions but often struggle against other opposition, who they don't often get a chance to play against.

She says Fiji travelled to New Zealand and Australia in the months leading up to Singapore but, in future, they need to begin planning and preparation for a world championship much sooner.

"I mean have a look at Australia and New Zealand - you know it's like a four year plan that you need to do. A team like Fiji's going back, they think they've failed - some of those players wont be selected but you need to keep your core of players and also your coaching structure in place so you can learn from this and progress on to the next Commonwealth Games and the next World Championships."