No Joking around - it’s time to get serious

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Hotshots sizzle in season-opener

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Jo’kers are at the top again and determined to do their best to stay there.

The team have regained their Gosport & Fareham League top-flight status after a two-year absence.

They are looking forward to the new challenge in the top division and, although they always want to have fun on court, they are certainly not just going to be making up the numbers.

Training as a team is not possible due to the busy schedules of the players – but they will make sure plans are hatched for matches during social get-togethers.

Captain Jo Coker said: ‘We don’t train as a team as the majority of our players all play in other netball leagues.

‘It’s hard to find a mutual night we can all get together.

‘But out of season we do get together socially to talk tactics – so definitely no joking around next season.

‘It will be hard going but we will do our best.’

Jo’kers will be full of confidence after going unbeaten last season.

But they are not expecting it to be easy in the top division.

New addition Lee Holden has joined and she will have a big role to play.

Coker said: ‘We had some close wins during the season.

‘But by the end we were unbeaten and are looking forward to our promotion.

‘We do expect to be one of those teams that go up and down like a yo-yo.

‘But we have recruited new player Lee Holden for next season to strengthen our mid-court and attack.’

The team – who formed back in 1987 – have regrouped well since dropping down to division two.

They have added a number of players in recent seasons to combine with the mainstays of the team.

‘Over the years players have come and gone,’ said Coker.

‘But in the past seven years we have had five core players who have remained together – myself, Ann Willmott, Tracey Lock, Hayley Townsend and Debbie Hartwell.

‘When we were demoted to division two we used that to strengthen our team with players who have had the same outlook as the rest of us that netball is for fun and a get together but we will always try our upmost. 

‘New players have joined us in the last two years – Casey Barnes, who has lowered our team average age quite considerably, Meghann Savage and Donna Elliott.’

Wickham Community Centre, Fulbrook Spooner Insurance, Zurich and Hillcrest have previously sponsored the team – and Jo’kers have a new kit, from Kukri, which will ensure they look the part next season.