Despite being the first team to retain their league place in their debut season, they now face a few obstacles to remain in this, the third tier of English netball.
With a move towards club-based netball, rather than region-based, being enforced in the UK, Jersey would only be able to compete if J United was registered as a club to which all netballers in the Island would sign up to as their first choice. They would then stake a second claim to their local league side.
This idea, which would allow J United to evolve into a ‘Super Club’, is thought to be the only solution to the problem and the Jersey Netball Association are awaiting confirmation of this proposal with Netball South West officials.
But even if this is agreed it will not necessarily mean the go ahead for J United to compete again.
JNA president Jackie Nelson says that, after an extremely expensive season, the whole issue would need to be discussed with the full committee.
‘We haven’t even finished the season yet and we’re still waiting to hear from NSW so there needs to be a meeting about it – it has not been decided,’ said Nelson.
‘This season has proved to be a huge strain on the JNA, spending in the region of £12,000. But what’s broken my heart is the amount of money that has been wasted on flights.
‘When booking flights we’ve had to pay a deposit for every person on every flight and then if they can’t travel or are ill you lose the deposit, or if it’s on the day, the whole amount.
‘We must have lost about ?1,500-?2,000 which is such a lot of money to our small association as we don’t get any financial support from the All England Netball Association.
‘We can’t manage that sort of money every season without the support of sponsors.
‘I think the reason we don’t have any interested sponsors is because we are a female sport. You’ve got a sport like rugby who has sponsors clambering to support them for every game, not just the season, and it’s about time that women got some support.
‘It’s not as if we struggle – we hold our own on every level in English netball and have Serena Guthrie playing for England teams. It wouldn’t be an embarrassment for someone to back us because the reports that come back are going to be good.
‘It’s a huge financial commitment, but we do need this sort of campaign to keep our top players interested in netball.’