Aerial aiming to hit the highs

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Megan Wallace

Hard work pays off as Megan celebrates GB dream

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Aerial Angels are setting their sights on hitting the highs in the new season.

The team are in great shape off the court after landing a new sponsorship deal and kit.

They are now keen to make their presence felt by achieving forward progress on the court.

Injuries hit their progress recently.

But captain Claire Smith feels they will bounce back.

She said: ‘Consistency was key for us doing so well last summer season.

‘We have five core players who play both nights every week and then Jodie Stevenson and Beckie Chaplin share the keeper position.

‘And we were also pleased to get Katie Taylor on board.

‘She is a fantastic asset to the team as she is so versatile.

‘We also had Jodie Biddle for a short while at the end of last season and beginning of this season but due to an injury she can no longer play.

‘Last season we didn’t do so well as Nicky England, our super centre, pulled her knee ligaments in a friendly before the season started so was out for three months, only coming back for the last two games.

‘But Katie stepped in and did a great job.

‘Jayne Knight has had Achilles problems on and off all season, so Fliss Parker has been covering her.’

The team competed in the Children In Need tournament last November alongside 10 men from new sponsors Aerial Telephones.

Umpire and team member Knight secured the sponsorship with her work at Aerial Telephones, based in Portsmouth.

Previously the team were known as Angels.

They started out in the Portsmouth League in 1996 and then entered a team into the Gosport & Fareham League in 2000, where they finished as runners-up in division one last season.

The sponsors have helped the team to buy a new kit and paid for tournament entry and court fees.

Captain Smith added: ‘Having this sponsor has been great as we love our new kit.

‘We wanted to go for a colour no-one else has in our division,

‘I also have to say a massive thank you to Fliss, who plays wherever we put her which in Portsmouth is usually keeper.

‘But she has formed a great partnership with Helen Jones, our goal-defence.’

‘Fliss has definitely gone from super sub to a fully-fledged team member as she is so versatile and committed.’

Vice-captain and umpire Lara Dunk thanked the many people from different clubs who have helped the Angels this season.

She added: ‘They all enjoyed playing for us and said we are a friendly team who have fun and don’t take it too seriously.’