WHILE Team Jets were ‘obviously gutted’ with their England Netball play-off final defeat to Blackpool, head coach Serena Kersten says there have been ‘clear signs of improvement’ over the course of the season.
Defeat in Sunday’s Premier League 3 promotion final in Worcester means Jets will have to spend another season in the South West Regional League system – and another season without the prospect of playing at home, as sides at that level are not obligated to travel to Jersey.
Speaking after Jets’ 43-30 loss last night, Kersten (née Guthrie) said: ‘All of us are obviously gutted. We didn’t come here to get to the final game and not get promoted. We have high expectations of ourselves and individually the girls have high expectations of their own play.
‘It was pretty deflating to not keep that scoreline a little closer in the final, but credit to Blackpool, they were better on the day and deserved the victory.’
The Islanders side enjoyed a stellar regional campaign, enjoying 14 wins from 18 to secure a play-off berth before winning all three Group C games to make the final.
However, Kersten feels that it shows there are still aspects that need to be improved before they can make the leap back to the national pyramid.
‘I think we acknowledge that we are not quite ready [for promotion], and that’s ok,’ she said.
‘We have to look at the positives in the fact we didn’t make the play-offs last season and this year we were one of the strongest teams here.
‘We are making inroads, which is positive, but it shows that there are still things to work on in the off-season to go that step further.
‘The final was tough and again it was a learning curve for us. When you cruise through the group games and then find yourselves 9-2 down early in the final, bridging that gap with tired legs and minds is very difficult.
‘We know we are better than the final suggested, which is probably the most frustrating part of the performance.
‘In finals we need to be able to adapt and learn quick enough to ensure we don’t end up in them positions, fighting to stay in touch.’