So...just as we were coming down from our victory high in Paris, it was time to refocus and back up the success in Stockholm...and sure did we deliver! Without building this piece up and leaving you in suspense, it is fair to say that our domination of the expat netball scene in Europe is well and truly on track.
Being one of the few mixed tournaments in the season, four of our guys snapped up the opportunity to get in on the competitive action. And being a popular choice amongst our members, we were lucky to submit two teams; Amsterdam West (is best) and Amsterdam East (the unsuspecting beast).
Split into two pools, East and West battled separate competitions, including the likes of Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels and of course our arch rivals from last year, Stockholm. Coached by Georgia Berry, Amsterdam East’s former GA who unfortunately tore her achilles heel in the lead up to the tournament, was relishing the opportunity to develop her team. "Aside from being able to look the part in my fabulous hat-clipboard-deckchair combo, the thing I got most out of the day was watching all the effort we’d put in come together. I’m super proud of every single one of our players; some were newer to positions but killed it anyway, others were just super focussed and solid throughout the day even in the hot sun. It was so nice being part of such an amazing team, on and off the court".
With Amsterdam East winning just one of its four matches on the day, all was not lost on the players who gave it their all. According to Mack Patterson, who played GA, GS and GD, there were some odds to face. “We were in a tough pool and I thought the team did pretty well. The lovely thing was that we didn’t give up and kept on pushing throughout”. As well, the tournament played a very sentimental role in Mack’s day. “I also had a personal highlight when my team won our first game. I got really emotional and started crying. My team saw this and all came and hugged me. It was my very first netball tournament ever and I was just really proud of how the team kept pushing to do well. And to share that moment with them was an amazing feeling”.
For Amsterdam West, it was a straight sets win to reach the finals. Without losing a game, they faced Stockholm Lucia who had never before lost on home soil. Needless to say, it was a tight contest by half time despite West having a marginal edge. And just when things were looking up, Nick Post, who was starring in GK at the time, landed in a not so conventional way, unfortunately breaking his ankle. After the injury break, West picked themselves up to claim victory, winning 20 to 13.
Grace Richmond, West’s midcourt specialist was grateful for the experience. “There was some tough competition, especially in the final, and playing all day in the heat was harder than expected! Winning the tournament was fantastic, especially having come so close in previous tournaments. We were very proud to be able to bring home the trophy! There was a great atmosphere and the whole Amsterdam squad did an amazing job of cheering each other on.”
Congrats also to Sophie Tarif and Gary Patrick Brown for winning best on ground for Amsterdam East and West respectively.
So there you have it. A victory celebrated and accredited to all members of the Amsterdam Netball Club. Without everyone’s hard work, from coaching to planning and so much else that goes on behind the scenes, victories like these are not possible. We are a pretty proud and happy bunch!
By Blythe Forde