YOU CAN never under-estimate the importance of a good skipper in sport.
And the blend of a solid captain and a dedicated team have proven the right recipe for Fusion to be smiling once again.
Fusion have been competing in the Portsmouth League for many years, with various team members and different captains.
Hollie Luff took over the role as skipper in the winter 2009 season from Sarah Bates, who the club hope may rejoin them in the future.
It proved a tough baptism of fire for Luff, though, with her side rooted to the bottom of division four at the time.
Worse was to follow as an inconsistency in players and positions played a key part in Fusion eventually winding up in division six.
That’s all changed now, though.
With Luff as captain and a combination of dedicated players and consistency with positions, Fusion were moved into division five last year.
The team have worked incredibly hard since then to now sit top of the table, gaining promotion back to division four.
Captain Luff said: ‘We are ridiculously excited about going back up to division four.
‘We haven’t played in that division since the winter 08-09 season and we are a different team now.
‘We lost six points during this season because of not turning up to the AGM meeting and an incorrectly-filled scoresheet!
‘We were absolutely gutted about this but it made us more eager to get to the top of the table and I can assure you that we will never make these mistakes again.
‘Without these deductions, promotion would have been on the cards a lot earlier but it certainly taught me a lesson!’
Fusion players Luff, Sally Westfield and Keeta Rowlands are registered umpires in the league and all others players take their turn in scoring.
It is a big team effort to ensure they have umpiring and scoring covered every week.
Meanwhile, fellow player Jade Wyatt has seen the company she works for kindly offer a contribution to a new kit, which the club are currently in the process of purchasing for the new season.
Part of the money will also come from the City of Portsmouth Sports Council who provide grant aid to help support teams in the local area.
All Fusion team members live busy lives outside of netball, and although they take Tuesday matches seriously, they do not have time to train.
A number of the team also play in the Fareham & Gosport League which gives them an opportunity to hone their skills in the same positions.
Luff said: ‘We have an established team who are all eager to win but, more importantly, we have a great laugh trying.
‘I am extremely proud of all the girls and promotion helps make the hard work worthwhile.