Youngsters Blue complete meteoric rise

Youngstars Blue
Youngstars Blue
Vixens finished second in the All About Netball League

Dramatic finish to league season

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Youngstars Blue have reached the Gosport & Fareham League summit after forming only three years ago.

The side have tasted promotion four seasons out of five and currently find themselves among the competition’s elite.

And while they endured a baptism of fire in their opening game earlier this month – losing 68-26 to Tigers – they have been backed to make their presence felt at the top level.

Skipper Sam Brown believes the continued commitment of her squad will be rewarded with another impressive campaign.

The wing-attack said: ‘We have been looking forward to the challenge of division one.

‘But we are under no illusions about how tough it will be – as we have found so far.

‘The key reason for our success to date has been the commitment of the team.

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

‘We all love to play netball and many of the team play in the Portsmouth and Hampshire leagues, too.’

Brown’s preparations for the new campaign have been hampered by the departure of Rachel Clarkson and Joanne Casey.

However, she has recruited Rachell Corkett and Steph Strode.

And is confident they will develop into a potent strikeforce.

Brown said: ‘Sadly, we lost two of our original players – defenders Rachel Clarkson and Joanne Casey – and they will be greatly missed.

‘However, we have gained two new players in Rachel Corkett and Steph Strode.

‘They will be our new shooters and have previously played together.’

Brown has every confidence in original defenders Lauren Price and Carly Kendell proving to be another great defensive team.

Meanwhile, the team’s court players – Natalie Wright, Alex Milligan and Marie Sutcliffe – have remained to provide key stability.

Brown started the team in September 2011. They were originally called Southern Sapphires and were entered into division five.

‘I just fancied having my own team with people I knew,’ said the skipper.

‘And after a year we joined Youngstars – changing our name to Youngstars Blue.

‘We carried on in division five where we finished unbeaten as winners in the summer 2012 season.

‘We then went on to win division four – again unbeaten – that winter.

‘We won division three last summer to gain promotion to division two, where we remained for two seasons before finally finishing as runners up.

‘That gained us promotion to division one.’

Brown umpires for the team along with Rachel Corkett but because of their meteoric rise, they don’t yet have a division one umpire.

So any offers of help this season would be greatly appreciated.