Commitment key for Blue team

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Youngstars Blue are finding their feet in Portsmouth League division two.

The ‘reliable bunch’ have earned three successive promotions from division five.

They started with two losses this season but have now stormed back with a strong winning run.

Captain Sam Brown puts it down to the commitment of the side – and their tough defence.

She said: ‘I believe that one of our key reasons for our success is the commitment of the team.

‘I couldn’t ask for a more reliable bunch of ladies.

‘Our defence has always been our strong point, along with the determination and hard work of the court players.

‘We won division five last summer, going unbeaten.

‘And at the end of the autumn season we won division four, again remaining unbeaten.

‘We won division three this summer and gained our latest promotion to division two.

‘Then we lost our first two games but have won the past four, so hopefully onwards and upwards for the rest of the season, so we can stay put.’

New signings Alex Milligan and Gill Almond have helped boost the team.

Brown is also looking to add a new shooter to the ranks.

She said: ‘We have had an unsettled time in the attacking circle.

‘We struggled to find a constant goal-attack each season.

‘However, we have welcomed two new players this season, Alex Milligan and Gill Almond, and they have proved to be great assets to the team.

‘Unfortunately we will be losing my sister, Beth Puckey, our shooter, at the end of this season as she is off travelling for a year.

‘She will be greatly missed, so if there are any shooters out there looking for a team next season, please get in contact.’

The team were formed in September 2011.

Brown wanted her own side and called them Southern Sapphires.

After one year they joined Youngstars and changed their name to Youngstars Blue.

Brown is also the team’s umpire, along with player Rachel Clarkson.

Although Brown would like to say a big thank you to Zoe Norbury, of GB Avengers, for covering most of their games this season.

The team still have five original players – Brown and Clarkson, with Joanne Casey, Natalie Wright and Beth Puckey.

Karen Andrews and Sue Greene left at the end of last season, due to a change of game night after gaining promotion.

But they welcomed back Natalie Wright after a year away in London.

It’s shaping up to be a good season for Youngstars.

Their White team have had a great start to the new season in division one.

They currently sit third, after only losing one game to the reigning champions.

Youngstars Red are second in division two, while Blues are third – only one point behind the Red team who they meet on November 11.