Fareham Tigers are a team to look out for in 2013.
Playing out of the Gosport & Fareham League, they have often found themselves in the unenviable position of looking up at the rest of the teams above them.
Yet that trend of propping up the league is beginning to look like a thing of the past.
Last season, the division seven outfit finished a respectable fifth.
And they’ve continued to break new boundaries this term, sitting comfortably in fourth place in the table with nine games played – and with a match in hand on second and third-placed teams Fareham Hornets and Fusion.
The side have won six of their fixtures to date.
These have included two wins over Market House Misfits and Martinis, a victory against Fareham Vixens and an impressive 23-20 triumph over fellow promotion-chasers Fusion.
Team captain Suzanne Holmes admits she and her team-mates are now enjoying their competitive Tuesday nights more than ever.
‘We really look forward to our Tuesday evening games now and work hard during our training sessions with our coach, which has led to an improvement in our game,’ said Holmes.
‘Initially, the team started as a group of mums whose daughters had taken up playing netball.
‘Some had played previously, others had never played.
‘Five years on, there are only three of the original players still playing.
‘Many new faces have joined the team with varying experience, including Jess Rowlands, who is one of the daughters who originally inspired the setting up of the team.’
The Tigers’ new-found love of winning, though, should not come as a surprise.
As regulars of the many tournaments run by the league, they have built of a reputation of winning games when it matters.
‘Tournaments are a way for our whole family to be involved and, in fact, we have had our greatest successes in GFNA tournaments,’ said Holmes.
‘We have finished as runner-up in the last two mixed tournaments.’
The club’s hope of further success in the future is highlighted in the work they do to introduce the next generation of netball players to the game.
Vice-captain Sarah Rowlands is also the Gosport & Fareham Junior League secretary and helps to keep youngsters interested in the sport.
‘We, as a team, believe it is very important for the children to enjoy our sport as much as we do,’ said Rowlands.
‘We are willing to help in any way we can to ensure this continues.’
Fareham Tigers’ next game is on Tuesday against Mega Mix (7pm).