West is best as Cawley & Co seal promotion

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Westowen are celebrating their best season so far.

Rebecca Cawley’s side were unbeaten throughout the campaign, clinching the Portsmouth League division one crown with a huge 246 goal difference.

Coached and sponsored by Brian Weston, they are now preparing for the new challenge of premier division two.

And skipper Cawley reckons spirit and determination are the key factors in the continued success of the team, also known as Westowen Warriors and Westowen Estates since their debut in 2011.

The ex-Greater Manchester player said: ‘Having tried out with other clubs, Brian was the catalyst to re-starting my netball career.

‘As captain of the original team we tasted success but then fell on rocky times and nearly folded.

‘But with much convincing and a passion to win, Brian and I worked together to build a stronger, brighter future for the club.

‘After starting in division five, we are now proud to have been consistently promoted nearly every season and this is reflected in our very healthy trophy cabinet.

‘Players have come and gone, however, the spirit and determination in the team has led to our continued success.

‘Being part of the club has been so much more than a weekly game of netball, though.

‘The club has created strong friendships both on and off court.

‘Brian is like a dad to most of us and on nights out tells everyone we are his daughters!’

The team owes much of its success to the drive and 100-per-cent commitment of Weston, who consistently supports and gives advice from the sidelines.

He also organises a full squad, scorers, umpires and training every other Thursday.

Chloe Kitching has also been an influential figure.

Her decision to retire last season has left a huge void to fill – but Cawley backed Weston to continue his positive recruitment drive.

Cawley said: ‘We are so grateful to Chloe.

‘Chloe was a player, umpire and also a great friend – and she was key to developing the club in the early days.

‘Each season we have strengthened the team and trust our coach to bring in the right players and keep developing the team.

‘Emma Boucher and Jade Barraclough helped take our team to new heights last season.

‘I am proud to captain the girls as they are a dedicated and fantastic bunch.’

Helen Manuel was named players’ player last season, while Verity Stodart won coach’s player.

Lori O’Sullivan picked up the best-and-fairest award.