Just over a year after creation, Northern Storm will make their Scottish Korfball League bow in Glasgow on 7 September. Fresh from promising performances at ‘Mavs Mania’ and their very own ‘Storm In A Teacup’ tournament day the Tynesiders are looking to surprise a few of the regulars in Division 2. StormKorfball.com spoke to Club President, Lee Guest, Coaching Coordinator, Kyle Crombie, and Club Captain, Jack Sanderson, regarding their landmark debut season.
SK.com: So Lee it’s Storm’s first season in the SKL, how does it feel to be included in an internationally recognised league?
Lee: “It’s great that the SKA has had the courtesy to invite us into their second tier. I’m looking forward to challenging for promotion whilst still giving as much match time as possible to developing players.”
SK.com: And Kyle, what do you feel will be the benefits of joining the SKL to the club’s squad?
Kyle: One area which slowed the development of Northern Storm in 2013/2014 was the lack of regular fixtures. The experience and understanding of korfball that can be gained through fixtures is invaluable and so to be joining the Scottish League is another huge step in the so far incredible progress of Northern Storm. In the second division, Storm will face teams consisting of players with mixed experience which will provide Storm with great competition and some very close matches.
SK.com: So Lee and Kyle, what are your goals and targets for Storm this season?
Lee: “I’m hoping for the obvious which would be promotion but also further development of the club, such as building a team for the future and hopefully getting our second team up and running. Hopefully we’ll have some fun along the way.”
Kyle: Promotion is obviously the main goal but arguably more importantly is just giving as many of our members regular match practice throughout the year and making new korfball connections with the teams in Scotland. If we can recruit some more female players then Storm will be looking very strong for entering two teams in the league next year. The majority of our members have been playing korfball for less than a year with new players coming along all the time so providing regular matches through the SKL, friendlies and tournaments is the best platform for the future development of the club.
SK.com: With the international experience of Giannis (Sarrigiannis), Kyle (Crombie), Adam and Naomi (Maynard) and also the SKL experience of various others, how crucial are they to the success of Storm this term?
Lee: The inclusion of players such as Helena Corner, Kyle Crombie and Rachel Leigh Brown offer their team the added knowledge of the SKL league, teams and its players, which will undoubtedly help Storm’s newer players settle into the SKL over the coming months.”
Kyle: Having past and present international players as part of our club is also a huge advantage for our new members. Beginners can learn from their years of experience while the more experienced players also gain from regular practice of the basic korfball strategies and movements while also helping out with some coaching. A good mix of experience can really help to develop everyone’s game and make sure that as a club we are always moving forwards.
The Northerners are currently starting to make strides to create more opportunities for youth korfball in the area and could currently name three under-18’s in match-day squads this season. Since the announcement that Storm would be joining the likes of Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the SKL, club coaches have placed fitness and game practice as top priority in recent sessions. Storm skipper Jack Sanderson tells us about the current mood in training and what his Dunston based side can bring to the league.
SK.com: After travelling a lot over the last year, what’s the general mood like in training towards the inclusion of Storm into the SKL?
Jack: “The travelling will always be a talking point with Storm in the Scottish league, but the group are all looking forward to the challenge of being part of a league. We are hoping that a good victory will make the long drives more than worthwhile. While travelling can be tough it also brings a lot of bonuses through team bonding and those comical moments that will stay with you for years.”
SK.com: Is there anything you can tell us about the way your side will set about their korfball this year and what you can bring to the league?
Jack: “Northern Storm is set up as a social club and we look to take that aim on to the court with any team. We will be looking to play well-structured korfball in our first year in the league. With the players we have and the training we have put in I expect good high levels of energy from our team along with high levels of ability.”
Kyle: “From watching top level korfball and playing against some of the best players in the world there is one main difference between the top teams and the rest. The best teams in the world don’t try to over complicate korfball; all they do is the basics, but very well. This comes from practicing since they were 5 years old. I want to use the same strategy for Storm this year and try to keep our approach as simple as possible and focus on doing the basics better than the other teams. If we can do that then it could be a very successful year for the North East’s first korfball club.”
Northern Storm kick off their first SKL campaign on 7 September against hosts Glasgow City 2 and Dundee 1. Track their progress on StormKorfball.com, @StormKorfball on twitter and ‘Northern Storm Korfball Club’ on Facebook.