Netball for all mantra of Tamarside boss Collins
TAMARSIDE boss Teresa Collins reckons one of her teams could reach the pinnacle of the Plymouth and District Netball League.
The team, Tamarside Coast, who are leading Premier B, are a good bet for promotion after an unbeaten start to the season.
Collins says she would even consider moving Coast up into the regional leagues to cross swords with city powerhouses Pilgrims and Marjon should they triumph in Premier A.
But the one thing the Tamarside head coach would not do is turn away a player who was so unfit she could not run 20 feet.
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Collins restructured Tamarside in the close season, making the committee structure much tighter.
A new regime was introduced where the players undergo an hour's fitness training before they practice game moves.
The result has been a 10-0 record which leaves Coast top of the division B pile and seven points ahead of Pilgrims 2, who are outside the top two promotion places.
Elsewhere, the club's Jets side is trying to stay in Division Two, while Total Freight Tamarside are holding their own in Division Three.
But while Collins wants success with her three teams, she is not going to let success – should it come – go to her head.
"I would love it if we were in Premier A," said Collins. "So would the players. A couple of years ago, the players would have said they're not up to it, but now they want to go out and play the best, the teams like Pilgrims and Marjon.
"I think if we did get to Premier A, we would definitely stay there.
"The players see it as challenging themselves to do well and the next stage if we get out of Premier B is to do well in Premier A."
Collins, however, says it is not all about the pursuit of success in what is regarded as one of the biggest netball leagues in the country.
She said: "We are a grass roots club and whatever we do, that's never going to change.
"My main focus is on getting players back into the game – somebody who maybe played at school and enjoyed it, but doesn't think she's good enough now.
"I don't care if a player can't run 20 feet, that doesn't mean we're going to turn her away.
"We have all shapes and sizes and abilities at the club and the person who can't run 20 feet might be brilliant at catching.
"If she can do that, she can play the game. We'll always find something a new player is good at and build from that.
"You get too many players who look at an opponent and think 'she looks like an athlete while I've had four children'."
Collins added: "The important thing is we bring people into the sport – I don't even mind if they don't come to Tamarside, although obviously I'd prefer it if they did. But, as a coach, I can't be selfish.
"The idea is to get players into the club and give them a chance to go through the system into the Premier B team.
"We're trying to provide a way in which younger players can come up through the ranks and play at the highest level they can.
"With the Coast team, all those girls joined the club and built up their basic skills. They've taken another step forward.
"Would I go into the regional leagues? I think that would depend on the players.
"But the one thing I would do is stay a grass-roots netball club."