Skywatch are on the rise again.
The Portsmouth League outfit have played in every division since their formation 30 years ago.
But after leaping back to the second division last term, Rachel Hewett’s team are now on course for a consecutive promotion.
Hewett, who took over the captaincy from Fiona Bond about seven years ago, said: ‘I have been delighted with the commitment of all my players this season allowing us to face a potential back-to-back promotion.
‘I am proud of the longevity of the team and the fact most current players have played with at least five of the original squad.
‘We have a mixture of ages, the youngest, Abbey (Andrews) has just successfully completed her A levels.
‘Due to various reasons, three years ago Skywatch took a season off.
‘Myself and Fiona played with Thornets and a number of players from that team then joined Skywatch when Thornets disbanded.
‘The different playing styles took a while to click but now it is a great team to play in with everyone knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
‘And if they don’t, I see it as my job to highlight both during and after the matches.’
Skywatch are certainly one of the longest-standing teams in the Portsmouth League.
They were formed as Skylarks before merging with Whitewatch – a fire service team – so then changed their name to become Skywatch.
Bond and Linda Wynne are two of the original squad still playing, while Pamela Binney, Mary Johnson and Sandy Downton-Taylor only retired in the past five years. Hewett is a C award umpire and actively pursuing her B award, meanwhile Wynne, Annika Vincent and Nicola Cleverly regularly officiate league matches.
So the responsibility is shared along with the rest of the team who support by rotating scoring.
Skywatch have been sponsored in recent years by car sales and servicing business, GT Hewett & Son Ltd.
They provided the team with complete new outfits three years ago.And to celebrate promotion last year, they have been given new hoodies.
Skywatch don’t train, partly because most of them play on different nights in other leagues.
Vice-captain Bond said: ‘Over the last few years we have lost a lot of our original squad through retirement and injury.
‘But Rachel has been a great captain and has put together and kept motivated, a strong group of players, hoping to lift Skywatch into division one next season.’