Romelda Aiken of the Firebirds passes during the round 13 ANZ Championship match between the Firebirds and the Fever at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on June 24, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.
Romelda Aiken of the Firebirds passes during the round 13 ANZ Championship match between the Firebirds and the Fever at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on June 24, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Reggae loving Romelda has the right moves for Firebirds

ROMELDA Aiken loves to think she can dance, especially to reggae, but admits she cannot really.

It can look a bit awkward when you are an imposing 1.96m (6ft 5in) tall.

However, there are no doubts over the Jamaican's ability to produce plenty of quality moves in the goal circle for the Queensland Firebirds in the trans-Tasman Championship.

Ahead of tomorrow's clash against defending champion, Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic, on the Gold Coast, Aiken has scored 349 goals from 391 attempts for the second-placed Queenslanders.

She is both the leading goal-scorer for an Australian-based side, and the most accurate on this side of the Tasman, shooting at 89.3%.

Only her Jamaican teammate, Jhaniele Fowler, who is playing for the Kiwi side, Southern Steel, is above her in both goals and accuracy.

Fowler, in her first season in the championship, has bagged 412 goals from 440 attempts with an impressive accuracy of 93.4%.

But Aiken, 23, who is in her sixth season with the Firebirds, does not mind if Fowler, who set a new record for the most goals scored in a match in the history of the championship when she slotted 65 against the Tactix in round two, grabs all the headlines for being the leading shooter.

"That's cool. I have no problems with that," Aiken, who made her debut for the Jamaican national team, the Sunshine Girls, in 2005, said.

"Besides, Jhaniele has a height advantage (Fowler is the tallest player in the championship at 1.98m, or 6ft 6in), she said with a laugh.

"Seriously, I'm just happy to keep doing my job for the Firebirds and doing my best to keep us in contention for the finals."

While Aiken and Fowler may be living in different countries, Aiken said there was no lack of contact between the pair.

"We are great friends and chat almost every day. I am thrilled for how things are going for her, but I wish she would work the time difference out," she laughed.

"Getting early morning texts, or a phone call, are still a bit of a shock to the system."

With Aiken and Fowler standing head and shoulders over their rivals in the goal-scoring stakes this season, it could prove to be, quite literally, a tall order for Jamaican selectors to decide who will lead the attack in next year's Commonwealth Games, or will it?

"I am sure they will find a place for is both," Aiken said.


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