There are no fixtures in netball’s national Premier League Division 2 until the second week in January, but the hard work will continue for Grangetown Netball Club captain Vicky Rees and her team mates over the festive period.
“We had a really disappointing start to the season,” Vicky admitted, “but we regrouped, worked hard as a squad and we have really felt the benefit. Although we lost to Kent County in our final game of 2015, we had won three of our previous four matches; we’re definitely moving in the right direction and I’m pleased with how we’ve progressed.
“Obviously we need to keep the momentum going, so the Prem squad won’t be having a training break over Christmas. We need to maintain our fitness and work with the newer members of the squad so that we can become more familiar with each other on court.
“It’s been fantastic to have the Scottish girls [Gemma Sole, Jo Pettitt and Nicola McCleery] back this season; they have always been such a positive influence on the whole club. Jan Hynes and Genevieve Slater, who are both Dublin-based Republic of Ireland internationals, have also joined the squad; they’ve settled in so quickly and it feels like they’ve always been part of the team. It’s great to be able to train and play with established internationals—and all the girls are now Grangetown through and through!”
Vicky is also delighted at the progress made by some of Grangetown’s junior netballers: “We have some very talented younger players coming through the club at the moment. They’ve been supporting the Regional and Northern League squads for experience and a few have made it into the Prem squad this year. It’s vital that we develop the young local talent that we have, as these girls will always form the backbone of the squad; and I’m sure it won’t be long before they start getting some court time at Prem level.”
After ten games, Grangetown currently lie in seventh position in the table on 27 points, just three points behind the fifth-placed team. “We’ve got eight games left to play,” Vicky continued, “including some really tough away fixtures; and I’d like to see us continue to play good netball and keep moving steadily up the table. We’ve got a great squad, and a fantastic team spirit, so it’s all really positive!”
Grangetown return to Prem 2 action on Sunday 10 January, with a home fixture against Worcester Reds at Middlesbrough Sports Village (12:30pm).