New Pulse import takes turmoil in her stride

Last updated 00:36 11/11/2008

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Netball

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The Central Pulse's new Jamaican import has been blissfully unaware of recent happenings on the other side of the world, but greeted the news with a stereotypically laid-back response.

When Althea Byfield was contacted in Jamaica and advised that Pulse coach Kate Carpenter had been told to pack her bags, and that the ANZ Championship franchise was struggling to find a major sponsor, she said: "It's just sad that it happened, but I hope she realises that life goes on and that everything happens for a reason.

"We were making this bond, you know, because we would talk and we would e-mail, and I was looking forward to meeting her," Byfield said from the Jamaican national team camp.

"I think I will still eventually meet her even though she got fired because I always want to know who I'm talking to."

Asked if she was still planning to come to Wellington, she said: "Yes, I am. Honestly, the only person I knew was Jill McIntosh, so I was going to be in a new environment with new people. The coach being fired [doesn't change that]."

Byfield, 25, who won a basketball scholarship to the United States and is a double international for Jamaica, said experience would be the most vital ingredient she could offer a team that is set to have a youthful look about it. She has been a part of the Jamaican netball programme for almost 10 years.

Byfield said playing in the ANZ Championship had "been on my mind" and the Pulse was the first franchise to approach her.

"I was supposed to go back to college but that didn't work out and then I got the offer.

"I'm a netball lover and Romelda [Aitken] got the opportunity and she came back and she was saying how good the experience was, and that it was fun."

Byfield said she expected to arrive in Wellington in late February or early March. What she discovers on her arrival by way of a coach and players will be revealed during the coming weeks.

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- The Dominion Post

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