Taylor proving perfect fit in premier two

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Taylor Cocks are ready for the challenge ahead after winning promotion to Portsmouth League premier two.

The squad have enjoyed an excellent run of form, taking them to new heights in the league.

And they also impressed with victory in a hard-fought tournament in Bournemouth.

They have been putting in the hard yards, on and off court, to ensure they are in top shape and it has clearly been paying off with their impressive performances.

Captain Andrea Todorov praised centre Allison Walker who has played a key role in the progress.

Walker has been playing since the team started out 10 years ago.

Todorov also feels the focus on fitness work with personal trainer Carl Edwards has been key to their recent success.

She said: ‘Carl gives us a hard workout and somehow makes it relevant to netball,

‘We are not a young team but since focusing on our fitness the results have been instant, with winning promotion to prem two and winning a tournament in Bournemouth, competing against teams from other counties.

‘I have to mention that Allison, our centre, is the stalwart of the team.

‘In the 10 years we’ve been together, I can count on one hand the number of practices or matches she has missed.’

Back in 2004, Todorov and Rebecca Reeves, both employees of Taylor Cocks, were playing in the Portsmouth League when they sent an email around the office to see who wanted to play netball and the response was incredible.

Todorov said: ‘It was a real back to netball story with most players not having played since school if at all.

‘At the start we practised every week as we decided we were not just a turn up and play team, we would always want to improve.’

All original players were employees of Taylor Cocks, who continue to sponsor the team, providing crucial funds.

Rebecca Reeves was captain at the very beginning, while Todorov was originally coach.

She said: ‘I am not a qualified coach but in the early days it was more about teaching the rules.

‘Fortunately, I had a very good coach, Margaret Whittaker, when I was younger and I often think the team is part of Margaret’s legacy. I use her drills and set pieces.’

Sadly Sharon Cocks, one of the team’s original members, lost her hard-fought battle with cancer last year.

Three original members of the team – Todorov, Walker and Rachel Lewis – all still play, while Tara Foy and Jeri Williams are ex-employees who have stayed with the team.

They are currently mid-table in prem two after a good start.