When Hornets entered the Portsmouth League just four months ago, no-one could have predicted the buzz they would create in their first season.
The team – who trained during the summer months in preparation for the winter league – are currently second in division five and on course for promotion at the first attempt.
Four of the team previously played for Goldtops in division five of the Gosport League for one season, but Hornets were formed from scratch and registered as a new club with England Netball.
Captain Emma Harris said ‘We started in division five this season and are hoping to get promoted for the summer season.
‘We’ve had great success as a new team in Portsmouth and are currently sitting second in the table.
‘But we’ve had some close matches in the first half of the season and can’t afford to lose another game if we want to secure promotion.’
As with any new team, there have been challenges for Hornets to overcome in their inaugural season.
Harris added: ‘We have not had our own umpire so far this season and have had to send two players on the beginners’ umpire course, so they are due to start umpiring within the next few games.
‘It has been a real challenge calling round each week to find an umpire.
‘We would like to thank those who have been kind enough to volunteer to umpire for us.
‘We have also had fantastic commitment from all of the Hornets in both training and matches this season, with fantastic shooting from Ali Bean, Amy Woodward and our newly-discovered talent Ellie Dewhurst – along with our ever-strong defence led by Kim Dixon.
‘One of our players, Jessika Housiaux, is sadly going travelling, so we wish her bon voyage and look forward to her return when hopefully we’ll be well on our way to the premier division!’
Hornets are self-funded, with all of the girls committed to paying for training and matches.
And their treasurer Kelly John has done a fantastic job in making sure the team can pay all their bills.
The side were lucky enough to have money to spare to buy their brand new black and gold kit, and have also designed and printed their own team hoodies.
‘We train on Mondays at the Mountbatten Centre,’ said Harris.
‘We have so far been focusing training on getting up to scratch on the basics and working on any points that may have been a bit weaker during our season.
‘Some of our new players, like Becky Pick and Vicky Tonkin, have not played much netball at all before and have improved dramatically over the past few months.
‘Now they are playing to a really good standard.
‘I am really proud of the Hornets’ achievements this season.
‘We started as five girls who just wanted to play locally but didn’t have a clue where to start.
‘Now we are a strong team looking to be promoted during the first season of our existence!
‘I want to thank all of the team for their hard work and commitment – let’s have lots more fun in the summer season to come.’