Weston Park Blades’ U16 Netball squad are competing in the National Club Finals this weekend.

Based near Winchester, the squad - whose coaching team is headed up by Jan Crabtree - come from all over Hampshire and Dorset, including five from the Southampton & Winchester areas.

The Finals weekend is the culmination of eleven months’ hard work, with Blades earning their place as one of the top 18 teams in the country after qualification through a rigorous league in the south of England.

Many players are part of the England Netball Performance Pathway, which sees successful players progress from County to Regional Academy, Super League franchises (such as Surrey Storm in Guildford) and to England’s National Academy.

Historically, the ‘northern powerhouse’ of Lancashire clubs has produced the winners of National Club Finals but the South has shown grit and determination in recent years.

Weston Park Blades’ highest placing at U16 National Club Finals was as silver medallists in 2014, and bronze medallists 12 months earlier.

This year Weston Park Blades celebrates its 50th anniversary after being established by the club’s President, Doreen Bryant, in 1967 in Southampton.

The top senior squad at the club - the National Premier League team, Viper 10 Blades - finished fifth in the country in 2016-17, their highest position ever.