CHAMPIONES: Storm Make Scottish Korfball History

Playoff Winner

April 2015 marks the most impressive month for the North Easts only Korfball club, achieving promotion into the top tier of Scottish Korfball and being the first English club to do so. StormKorball.com spoke to an elated club curator Lee Guest, just days after helping lift the SKL Division Two Cup.

SK.com: After founding the club and a tireless effort in bringing competitive Korfball to the North East of England, how does it feel having lifted the Division 2 cup? 

I can’t imagine a better feeling in our first competitive season! The club has surpassed every expectation, not just by the prospect of promotion, but by the way it has carried itself on and off the pitch. I couldn’t be prouder of the players and the enthusiasm of the committee who have been outstanding throughout!

SK.com: Honestly. Were you expecting to do so well in Division 2 this season, or has this came as a surprise? 

Right from the start of the season, our ideal aim was to try and achieve promotion but we obviously had no idea if that would be feasible. As the season has gone on, our club and all its members have gone from strength to strength and we could quickly see that getting to the play offs was a realistic target. We have some strong, established players that have consistently helped us win games throughout the season but the surprise has been seeing how quickly some of our newer members have improved to become key players in games and this has been fantastic to watch and help them develop to this level.

SK.com: With strong competition awaiting in Division 1 how do you think your current squad will fair against the more established top-flight teams in 2015/16?

Naturally we had our concerns about how the club would do if promoted to the higher division. However, the teams we are playing in the play-offs from the higher division have by no means lost all their games in division 1 this season. The fact that we are not only able to give these teams a good match but, in fact, beat them gives us the confidence that we will be able to put up a good fight in the top tier of Scottish Korfball.

SK.com:What affect will promotion have on the club? (on and off court)

As we’ve played tougher matches in the play-offs we have seen all members of our squad from relative beginners to the more experienced players really upping their game. People have been more committed at training and taking their skill in matches to a new level. This is something we can only see continuing. It also gives the club the possibility of entering a second string into the league for next season.
SK.com: At the start of the season Storm struggled with the availability of female players in league and tournament games, has the situation improved and might this be an issue next season? 

Yes, this has definitely improved. We now regularly take a squad of 12 (6 boys and 6 girls) to matches and have had to start selecting girls rather than taking whoever is available. Furthermore, we have had several new and enthusiastic female players join us since the start of 2015 and they are definitely keen to start getting involved in matches now they have establishd the basics.

 SK.com: The turnaround from your tournament Storm in a Teacup to the start of the 2015/16 is only a mere two months, what are your sides plans for the summer and will you be ready next year? 

We’re planning on taking a well-deserved rest from formal training for a few weeks after Storm in a Teacup! We think it’s important for players to have a chance to relax and take a break after the season has finished so that everyone can recharge their batteries ready to hit the ground running when we start pre-season training. But don’t worry; we know some of our members would fall apart without their weekly session of Storm so we are planning more informal, fun, outdoor sessions playing a mixture of korfball and other sports.  

SK.com: With the reintroduction of Giannis Sarrigiannis next term are you expecting him and Kyle to be leading the Storm side to safety next term? 

If you had asked me that question a year ago then the answer would have almost certainly been ‘yes’, however a lot of things have changed in the last year. The squad has got resoundingly stronger and we have several key players. Helena Guest has lead the team by example and making her Scotland debut this year has shown that we have international quality across both genders. Unfortunately Naomi Maynard Is leaving the squad in the summer for pastures new but a special mention has to go to her outstanding performances this season. The rest of the team is quickly learning and stepping their game up so who knows what this will bring- not to mention the coming signing of Ben Smith over the summer.

 SK.com: With the SKA Cup coming up, are you expecting your side to be sending out some messages to the ‘bigger’ clubs at the tournament? 

The SKA Cup will be the perfect opportunity to show the rest of Division 1 what’s coming their way next season! It will also give us a great chance to see what areas we need to focus on during our pre-season training in August and early September.

Northern Storm travel to Edinburgh over the weekend to partake in the SKA Cup, catch their progress on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Storms 2015 So Far…

Last year brought a year of firsts for Northern Storm; entry to the Scottish League, successes at Saint Andrews and Leeds, the introduction of new players experienced and not. Making 2014 it a pretty hard year to follow. With publicity drives, promotion pushes and not to mention television appearances on the horizon, Storms 2015 looks to be one to remember.

Storm started the year with three convincing wins in korfballs equivalent to a Super Saturday. Dundee 1, 2 and Edinburgh University’s second string were put to the sword by some impressive Storm team play. Mark Coates made his debut and later proved his inexperience didn’t play on his mind at all scoring two screamers from range earning him an MVP in only his second competitive korfball appearance.  A hat trick of wins leaves the North Englander’s occupying the top spot in Division 2 with a four point lead over second placed Dundee 1.

Late January etched the world famous Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament into Storm players diaries with a full squad of; Davison, Coates, Sanderson, Houmark, Guest, Shield, Maynard, Lee and Helena Guest supported by two loanee’s from the Scottish capital and of course Fran Henzell who, though injured made the trip to support her side in only their second appearance at the event. With the absence of international experience in Kyle Crombie and Giannis Sarrigianni’s Storm placed a 5th in their group though thoroughly enjoyed their weekend and left with some valuable tournament experience for their newer players.

To finish the month Storm made their way onto the BBC’s ‘Get Inspired’ listings where prospective sports people can browse the site looking for new innovative sports like Korfball and get involved. The BBC state that they had little over a million people browsing the site in January alone and we hope to bear the fruits of featuring on a nationally credited site in the near future. It also brought the introduction of the Northern Storm (Team) App, where the committee hope to have all members signed up for in the next few weeks. Its USP is having all of your necessary data stored in one area, it currently features; links to the league table, events, team chat, news and a currently under construction roster area where you’ll be able to view the profiles or your team mates, find out which melodies get them pumped pre-match and check out their korfball credentials (You might need to clear some space in your diary for Kyle’s).

25th March. Save the date, the cameras and presenters of regional television programme Made In Tyne & Wear will be trying their hand at korfball at our weekly training session at Kingsmeadow. They’ll be watching, interviewing and even taking part in some drills with the group, Storm hope to promote Korfball to their viewers and also that they’ll come down and give it ago.

Plans are being put in place for Storm In A Teacup with the dates finalised as 20th and 21st of June, last year Storm put out two sides in our tournament with the view to give players match experience and also to show off what they’ve learnt from our fantastic coaches. Socials are likely to be held on both nights making this an ideal time to get familiar with team mates and also those who will be coming down to try their hand at taking the Storm In A Teacup, teacup trophy from holder Edinburgh Mavericks.

Since the turn of the year with our play korfball for free offer we’ve seen a significant spike in the numbers at training, on behalf of the committee I’d like to formally welcome Brian, Clare, Mike, Steven, Phil, Kim and Georrgi to the club and hope that they’ll continue to give the first team a push for places in the very near future. I’d also like to congratulate Kyle and Helena on featuring for Scotland in the Inter-Areas held in Bristol last week.

New kit has been added to the Storm Store! Sports bags, beanie hats (essential for Dundee!)  and raincoats (Also essential for Dundee) have been added… visit http://goo.gl/V1CQeX for more details!

Luther Communities Sign With Northern Storm

UntitledNorthern Storm can today to announce the signing of Luther Communities Limited who will be sponsoring us for our debut season in the Scottish Korfball League. The Sunderland based company provide engagement initiatives to nationwide businesses and the local community; their previous work includes working with medical care watchdog HealthWatch and assisting in the development of projects The Pegasus Centre, Spittal Splash Park and various children’s play parks in the Northumberland area.

Storm are pleased to be associated which has a company that has a positive input in the area that surrounds the club. Luther Communities Director Joanne Luther spoke to StormKorfball.com following the teams outing at Edinburgh City’s tournament in the Scottish capital last month (18th October) “We’re delighted to begin our partnership with Storm as we’re extremely impressed with the work ethic that the committee and members have towards the club. As a community based company we’re always on the look out for clubs and individuals who have clear, exciting development plans in regard to children’s and youth sport in the North East. We wish Northern Storm the very best for their first season in the Scottish League”.

The Luther Communities logo will feature on our new away kit, which will be available for SKL and tournament use in early 2015. Storm plan to use the sponsorship funds for new playing kit and also are looking into sending current players onto coaching and referees courses to develop youth korfball in the North East area in the near future.

J

Autumn Storm Report

7th September, Glasgow: Helena Guest led her Northern Storm VIII out to face Glasgow and Dundee’s second string side, making Storm the first English club to cross the Berwick border into the Scottish Korfball League. Storm didn’t hold back following the tedious four-hour drive and comfortably winning both games, Greek international Giannis Sarrgiannis struck no less than a double hat trick and claiming ‘Most Valuable Player’ twice to announce Storms official arrival to the Scottish korfball scene. Storm player Anthony Mannall came off the replacements bench to score his first league goal before relocating to the UAE.

12th October – Gateshead: Storm welcomed Edinburgh University 2’s to Kingsmeadow for their first ever home fixture, Sarrgiannis again took the plaudits with another commanding hat trick. Though marred by an absence of a side, Storm refused to let the students return too soon, playing Storm 1 vs Storm 2 and friends, giving fringe and fresher players the opportunity to get on court.

18th October – Edinburgh: Whilst playing coach Kyle Crombie was packing his bags for the European Championships, a subsidised Storm side travelled to the Scottish capital for Edinburgh City’s beginners tournament, posing as ‘Storm and Friends’ the day gave the opportunity for Storm players to improve fitness for the rest of the SKL season, newbie Mark Coates made his korfball debut alongside Lee Guest, Fran Henzell, Jack Sanderson, James Houmark and Mike Robson. Sandersons side again played with more than willing (forced) Saints and Mav’s girls as the day had seen some mixed results, though in the eyes of those there a success.

9th November – Gateshead: The fortress Kingsmeadow awaited the arrival of Saints and Glasgow’s second teams as the Glaswegians seek out revenge for their defeat back in September. Glasgow sighed a sigh of relief due to the absence of Sarrigiannis from the Storm team-sheet though only to be short lived with the inclusion of Crombie, who demonstrated why he had featured at Korfballs equivalent to the world cup – scoring 7 goals across the two games. Halim Kusumaatmaja scored two on his Storm debut.

Special mentions go to Naomi Maynard, Halim Kusumaatmaja, Rachel Brown, Lee and Helena Guest who all boast solid over 1:1 games to korfs ratios.

Storm take on Ed Uni 3 and Ed City this weekend (16th November) as The Northerners hope to top Division 2 leading into the festive period.

J

Get ready for a Storm in the SKL!

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.

Storm in a Teacup- Storm 2 match report.

Northern Storm hosted their debut korfball tournament day last weekend (21th July) where thankfully the weather turned out to be reasonably fair, the ever-growing Northerners again fielded two teams for the tournament. A full strength Storm 1 side featured returning players Ben Smith, Kyle Crombie and Giannis Sarrigiannis whom all missed games at Dundee, Saints and Leeds over the last few months, Storm 2 welcomed club captain Jack Sanderson, Jade Slater and Julia Clark to their ranks.

 

Storm 2 kicked off the day against Glasgow City side naming two female Scottish internationals in their ranks, the Scots took the lead within the first five minutes from a long range effort but Storm struck back with Adam Maynard earning two back to back penalties but only capitalising on one. Uni prioritised on scoring drop offs and notched two in quick succession, Houmark combined with Maynard to score a running in effort just before the break. A breather at half time gave Storm that little bit extra for Frankie Cole scoring a drop off from collect to tie the game at 4 a piece. Storm 2’s hard work was to only be revoked as Glasgow broke and finished a tidy period of play with a running in shot finding the korf with just moments to go.

 

Storm 2 looked to improve on their previous ventures against Edinburgh City from Dundee and St Andrews last month, but was punished following a succession of long efforts had flown in and long periods of chasing the ball. The visitors took advantage of the in-experienced Storm side scoring a succession of running in shots, their defense only marred by a very respectable effort from range by Sanderson took the tie to 4-1. The same story followed with a 9-4 defeat against Scottish champions and eventual winners Edinburgh Mavericks but Storm 2 put up a good fight with Frankie Cole, Adam Maynard and Jade Slater all featuring on the score-sheet.

 

Storm 2 met Storm 1 after lunch but again, the second string took a 10 minute barrage against the relentless first’s, with the likes of Naomi Maynard, Anthony Mannall and Giannis Sarragiannis all amongst the scoring. Half-time welcomed the debut of Michael Brown, the hosts regrouped and the defensive work of Amy Reynolds and Adam Hedley (whom had Craig Davison in his proverbial ‘pocket’ for the whole of the second half), closed out the persistent attacks and held the deficit to 4-0. Storm 2 took ended the day strongly against Edinburgh Uni with the students edging the game 5 – 4 a series of spectacular efforts from Houmark and Sanderson maintained the Northerners pride.

 

Following the day; we caught up with Storm 2’s James Houmark who said “It’s always disappointing to come last, but we’ve learnt a lot today, the guys who’ve came down here from Scotland have been so supportive to both our teams. As a team will be looking to improve further in the coming weeks and hopefully surprise a few in Leeds next month. I think, on behalf of Storm 2 we’d like to thank Lee (Guest), Ben (Smith) and Kyle (Crombie) for their tireless efforts in putting the day on and the excellent training in the run up to our first tournament on home-turf. On a personal note it’s great to see my close friend and now teammate Michael Brown make his debut for Northern Storm.”

 

 

Storm 1

Storm 2

Kyle Crombie (c)

Lee Guest

Craig Davison

Ben Smith

Anthony Mannall

Giannis Sarrigiannis

Helena Corner

Ruth Shield

Naomi Maynard

Rachel Leigh Brown

Jack Sanderson (c)

Adam Maynard

James Houmark

Michael Robson

Michael Brown

Adam Henley

Frankie Cole

Julia Clark

Jade Slater

Amy Reynolds

 

Storm in a Teacup 2014 Tournament Report

Storm in a Teacup pic

Northern Storm Korfball Club has just held its inaugural Storm in a Teacup tournament on Saturday 21st June, just less than a year after the club was founded. The venue was our training and home ground at Kingsmeadow School, Dunston, Gateshead, where camping was provided on the sheltered school field for both Friday and Saturday night. After set-up of the tournament site on Friday evening, NSKC and some members from other teams decamped to the local pub, the Poachers Pocket, for last minute arrangements, team chats and general alcohol-fuelled bonding and merriment.

Then followed a peaceful night of camping on the school field. We apologise to anyone awoken by Anthony’s 5 AM wake-up call for Lee for a gym session, which he had agreed to when drunk, which was not going to take place for some obvious reasons.

Any korfballers who hadn’t camped overnight at the site or who had chosen to stay in local hotels made their way to the site for a 9 AM start to the day of korfball. The barbecues had already been lit and prepared for breakfast and lunch, tea/coffee facilities were set up, soft drinks were put on ice and the cake stall was laid out.

What then followed was a morning and afternoon schedule of 6 x 30-minute matches with a 20-minute scheduled lunch break. All teams played each other in a 7-team league format with the top two teams returning for the grand final just after 5 PM to decide who would take home the unique and highly sought-after Teacup trophy.

Many thanks to all the teams that made it to Storm in a Teacup which included some of our soon-to-be SKA adversaries in the form of Edinburgh Mavericks, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh City, and Glasgow City, as well as our EKA friends Snakebite from Sheffield, and of course our Northern Storm 1 and 2 teams.

After an action-packed day of korfball played in sunny and warm conditions, it was Edinburgh Mavericks who topped the table and entered the final against Northern Storm 1 who had finished 2nd. Having beaten Edinburgh Mavericks 6-4 in the league format, Northern Storm 1’s hopes were high going into the final, but Edinburgh Mavericks stepped it up a notch in the final and came out 4-2 winners and ended the day drinking Smirnoff Ice from their hard-won Storm in a Teacup trophy.Storm in a Teacup 2014 Winners

After showers and recovery from the day’s exertions, all the teams grabbed some food and reconvened in Newcastle city centre at Sam Jack’s for a quick drink and to check that everyone was wearing their snazzy Northern Storm Korfball wristbands for admission to the night’s social in the Groovy Wonderland VIP section of Tiger Tiger. Many pitchers followed as we valiantly tried to reach our agreed bar bill to get our room hire fee refunded. We’ll smash it next year!

On Sunday morning the barbecues were lit for a final time and bacon butties and sausage sandwiches went some way to soften some dull heads from the night before. Our remaining korfball buddies made their way home and a group effort tidied up the site and we reflected on what had turned out to be a well-organised, fun and successful tournament.

 

Many thanks again to all the teams who made it, it really wouldn’t be worthwhile without you obviously, and to all the NSKC’s friends and family (including Harvey the baby and Maisie the Old English Sheepdog) who helped out on the day, watched the games, or supported our club by buying from our barbecue and cake stall. We hope that everyone had as much fun as we did, that we’ll see you again next year, and that you will tell other teams that they really need to be at Storm in a Teacup 2015.

All the day’s results can be viewed below:

Edinburgh City Edinburg Mavericks Edinburgh Uni Glasgow Northern Storm 1 Northern Storm 2 Snakebite
Edinburgh City X 2 – 5 4 – 1 4 – 5 3 – 6 5 – 1 7 – 4
Edinburgh Mavericks 5 – 2 X 9 – 3 8 – 6 4 – 6 9 – 4 6 – 4
Edinburgh University 1 – 4 3 – 9 X 5 – 2 5 – 6 9 – 5 4 – 4
Glasgow 5 – 4 6 – 8 2 – 5 X 1 – 5 5 – 4 1 – 4
Northern Storm 1 6 – 3 6 – 4 6 – 5 5 – 1 X 4 – 0 3 – 4
Northern Storm 2 1 – 5 4 – 9 5 – 9 4 – 5 0 – 4 X 1 – 4
Snakebite 4 – 7 4 – 6 4 – 4 4 – 1 4 – 3 4 – 1 X

 

Team Points GF GA GD
Edinburgh Mavericks 15 41 25 +16
Northern Storm 1 15 30 17 +13
Snakebite 10 24 22 +2
Edinburgh City 9 25 22 +3
Edinburgh University 7 27 30 -3
Glasgow 6 20 30 -10
Northern Storm 2 0 15 36 -21

 

Final

Edinburgh Mavericks 4-2 Northern Storm 1