Kingston netballer Hannah Reid has set her sights on the Fiat Netball Super League title this season after pulling up agonisingly short in last year’s final.
Surrey Storm lost to Hertfordshire Mavericks last summer, but a 69-43 win over Team Northumbria on Saturday secured second-place in the first phase table of this year’s competition.
It sets up a play-off pool – which kicks-off on March 16 – with Mavericks, Team Bath and table-topping Northern Thunder to see who progresses to the knock-out stages later in the year.
And former Tiffin School for Girls student Reid admitted there is work to be done if Surrey are to avenge last year’s final heartache.
“With Surrey we have had a pretty good season so far,” said the 27-year-old.
“Unfortunately, the fifth round saw a big loss away to Northern Thunder, so we need to improve on that and we have a lot of things to work on if we are to succeed.
“You have got to beat the best in the play-offs to win the league.
“For the rest of the season, we will be trying to get to the level where we are putting goals on the board and shutting out the opposition in defence.
“We have two England players shooting for us this year and the team’s confidence is improving with each game.”
Reid, who grew up in Molesey, has taken her time to establish herself as Surrey’s first choice goalkeeper, but has impressed at the back this year – earning a man of the match award in a 74-50 win over Celtic Dragons last month.
“Personally, I think I have had an all right start. I can play really well, but I need to perform for the whole 60 minutes,” she added.
“I have enjoyed playing with Katie Holland particularly, and we have a good understanding together as we both play for the Epsom Downs team too.”
The in-form goalkeeper combines duties for Surrey Storm with playing National Premier League One netball with Epsom-based Downs club, where she started her career.
“I started playing netball when I was 14 at Tiffin Girls School,” she said.
“I went to the Downs when I was a kid, playing with the senior team from about 15.
“This season, the Downs came back up to Premier One and are fighting to stay up.
“We’ve been too inconsistent this year, but I’m confident of staying up.”
Reid enjoyed an illustrious youth career at school, but now combines playing with work as an accountant for Lambeth Council.
But she still retains ambition to play at the highest level.
“My school team won the National Schools Championships in 2003 and I also played in the England U21 set up and went to the World Youth Championships,” she added “I take things one step at a time. I want to be the best player I can be.
“I work as a graduate accountant at Lambeth council and have my final two exams coming up, so it is pretty hard work fitting everything in.
“They are very understanding at work, and I couldn’t do it without their support.”
When it comes to winning the Super League title this year, Reid is guarded over her Surrey side’s chances, but remained quietly optimistic.
She said: “I have been playing in the Super League since it started, and this year we have a strong squad, working for each other. I hope we win it, this time.”
Storm cruised to a comfortable win in Newcastle last week to end the regular season and captain Becky Trippick reckoned player-coach Tamsin Greenway’s side’s focus was all on the play-offs.
“It was a good night all round. Newcastle is a long way to go, and once you are there you have to get on with the job in hand, regardless of whether we had already secured our top four place or not,” she said.
“We were able to try some different combinations on court whilst still be in control of the game and we managed to get plenty of points on the board.
“We’re all now focused on the next phase and training hard ahead of our first match so we can hit the ground running.
“It will be tough against fellow top four opposition, but we are ready for the challenge.”
*Phase Two play-offs: March 16 Team Bath (a), 24 Hertfordshire Mavericks (a), April 2 Northern Thunder (h), 23 Northern Thunder (a), 28 Herfordshire Mavericks (h), May 7 Team Bath (h).