Media Officer Nikesh Patel reflects on a season to remember with the Southampton Spartans…
Southampton Spartans came onto the Korfball scene last year as a largely inexperienced team, with only three members who had played the sport before. It seemed unlikely that Southampton would be a real competitor in its first year of existence, but with true teamwork and determination, the Spartans started as they meant to go on with a year full of great successes.
The team was formed by David Creed and captained by Alex Bell, a pair who quickly went to work on coaching new players up to make a true Spartan army and make an impact as a new club. Southampton quickly showed their skill in their regional league, starting the season strongly and continuing to dominate the league throughout the year, eventually winning their division and being promoted to the top division.
The first major challenge of stepping onto the University Korfball stage was qualification for the National Korfball Championships at Southerns. Spartans had made an impact locally but this was their first chance at showing other Universities what they were about. Southampton travelled to Southerns as a relatively unknown team, with only a few teams remembering their domination at the Cardiff Fresher’s Tournament in which they came first and second. Spartans hard work paid off as they came second at Southerns, losing only to an experienced UEA squad.
It was now Southampton’s turn on the National stage. Spartans were drawn in a strong pool against Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam and Reading. With every match Spartans got better, breaking down the opposition’s attack whilst playing a strong offense. Spartans finished second in their group, meaning that Southampton had qualified top 8 and were guaranteed BUCS points; an amazing feat in itself for a new team. Southampton ended up finishing an impressive 5th in their first National Korfball Championship, a great achievement for a newly formed team.
Southampton have proved themselves as a strong team this year, and with experience and success under their belt, they’re ready for the 2013/2014 season.