Captain's column: A weekend off and time to refocus

PUBLISHED: 08:45 17 March 2016

Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth. Picture by Brian Petty at BJP Photography Ltd

Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth. Picture by Brian Petty at BJP Photography Ltd

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Here Herts Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth writes her third exclusive column for the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

This weekend was a weekend of no netball - what a rarity for the team, and for me a perfect opportunity to get some exams finally out of the way!

Netball is not a professional sport and most of the team have jobs, studies (or children) that this week allows us to refocus on our normal lives, while still training hard of course.

It is at this time that we regroup and start to refocus on the second half of the league, which is going to be a real race to the finish.

Mavericks is traditionally one of the most successful teams in the Superleague, having made the final of the competition seven times in it’s 10 year history and winning the league twice.

Going into this competition, having lost a number of key players from last season, I think a number of people wrote us off as title contenders.

While this league is topsy-turvy with shocks everywhere, I think we are showing consistency and can now aim to consolidate our spot in the top four to make the play-offs and once you get to finals - anything can happen, but for me I’m eyeing a spot in the final and to aim to go on better than we did in 2015.

Not playing any netball myself this week, I tuned into parts of a live netball stream provided by Vitality Netball Superleague broadcasting Surrey Storm versus Team Bath. While watching this game I took a moment to reflect on the amazing growth of netball.

The first final I played with Mavericks took place in our home ground in front of 600 people five years ago. Twice this season I’ve played in front of crowds of 6,000 and 8,000 - there’s great coverage from Sky Sports and other media outlets and online streaming of the game screams testament to the growing popularity of the sport.

This is fantastic and I’d like to thank the support from fans, media outlets and of course the Welwyn Hatfield Times for supporting the growth of this sport.

Lastly, I’d like to give a shout-out to another of my teams, Academy Netball Club that play in the premier division (just below Superleague) who have won the league.

It’s a testament to the women who hoist themselves out of bed on a Sunday morning to play a sport that we all love. It’s a fantastic achievement for players and coaches.

Layla

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