For the fresh Winter League season that begins on Tuesday, two T&T outfits – a Purple A team and a Green B team – will compete in the top flight.
This is the result of a summer merger between last year’s Titans and Thunder sides with the aim of keeping the division competitive.
Both had flourished in last year’s ‘Prem’ after late-season rallies – Thunder clinching the bottom-four Plate prize and Titans making history by beating the Island Men, finishing behind only champions Resolution IT Green in the women’s standings.
Titans, earlier handicapped by depth issues due to work commitments, were truly formidable in the post-Christmas period with a healthier line-up.
T&T Purple captain Donna Brehaut hopes that the new options will help get them out of the blocks faster this season.
‘We hoped we could merge and make two strong Premier teams, which will help the division and help both teams,’ she said.
‘We found it very difficult on the lead-up to Christmas to field our consistent seven or eight, but we were able to do that from Christmas onwards and that’s when we really pushed and got some significant wins and beat the men in order to help our campaign.
‘We’re hoping that, through the two teams that we’ve set, hopefully we’ll have more continuity with how we field our players week in, week out – more so than last year.’
One setback comes from the loss of Lorna Hall, the veteran defender, who is focusing on basketball.
Her daughter, Kerri Brown, has taken the same path after last season starring in a deadly mobile shooting combo with Steph Batiste.
But a strong Titans core remains and will be augmented by past Thunder stars Anais Flatres and under-18 Amy Le Tocq, B team step-up Lydia McClean, as well as Megan Seward and an intriguing addition in UK county-level player Mhairi McGill.
Brehaut is confident of featuring strongly despite losing an island-level player on both ends of the court.
‘The team that we’ve got, Anais adds strength-in-depth into the circle, and I’ll be dropping into the shooting circle, so we have the option of three shooters who have played island level shooting,’ she added.
‘With Mhairi, who’s coming here, that will help with the defence.
‘I do believe we are going into the league with a strong squad that can definitely compete.’
The Green side will be skippered by Claire Jennings and feature further experience from veteran Carrie Bacon.
Elsewhere, the Zebras ‘Prem’ players retain their place in the form of new outfit Liberte NGT and no other sides have been promoted to or relegated from the top flight.
Two Blaze and two Resolution IT sides, plus the Island Men, complete the division.
Following a review of the overall league structure, the Guernsey Netball Association have also introduced an extra division to make it five total – three where adults can play and two solely for youth.