Basketball - Women's squad history

The Solent women's team sprang originally from a school team at Redbridge School, Southampton. A club for local league players was formed to keep them together after leaving school. Natural progression and the sponsorship of Harry Smith through his Scandinavian Homes company took the club into the NBL Division 2 in the 1977/78 season. They won that Division at their first attempt!womenteamphoto

Solent women played their first ever European Cup tie at Fleming Park against a Spanish side Vacciones Pantax Madrid. They lost the match 50 - 86 (Dunn 17, Day 12) and they were hampered by an injury to Maggie Joseph. They also played a winning game in the Federation Cup in the same season against lrish team Cork (83 - 78). A nine day tour of the USA was undertaken prior to the start of the 1980/81 season.

Early playing records are shown in the table:

Season

 

Played

 

Won

 

Lost

 

For

 

Against

 

Diff

 

Points

 

Position

1977/78   10   9   1   641   449   +192   18   1/6
1978/79    14   5   9   756   924   -168   10   5/8
1979/80   14   5   9   945   1069   -124   10   6/8
1980/81   14   8   6   934   890   +44   16   5/8
1981/82   16   12   4   1211   971   +240   24   3/9
1982/83   18   6   12   1191   1390   -199   12   7/10
1983/84   18   4   14   1032   1369   -337   8   8/10
1984/85   22   1   21   991   1856   -865   2   12/12
1995/96   18   12   6   1041   987   +54   24   4/10
1996/97   16   5   11   935   1021   -86   10   7/9
1997/98   22   5   17   1104   1307   -203   10   11/12
1998/99   14   1   13   704   903   -199   2   8/8

 

For a second time, Solent Pacers (under coach Jimmie Guymon) re-entered the National League (in Division 2) in 1995-96 season, finishing fourth with a 12 - 6 win/loss record. After two seasons they reverted to the name Solent Suns and finally withdrew at the end of the 1998-99 season.

In 2003 Solent Stars re-entered the league, for a third time, in the National League (Division 2 South) under coach Michael Ball. They won the division that season to qualify for the First Division in 2004. The team was a blend of local players, who had come through the excellent development programme, and those recruited from a wider area, and they proved an immediate success, with an unbeaten campaign that secured them the Division 2 South title, the Women's Trophy, and the Division 2 Championship. This was followed by an excellent debut season in Division 1 (following the Regional Qualifying Leagues, to reorganise the divisions), in which they finished fourth.

Mick Bryne in the 1977/78 season, was the promoter, secretary and assistant coach to the Scandinavian Homes Solent women's team that played in the National League Division 2. The driving force behind that team was Sally Clarkson. She approached a very successful local businessman called Harry Smith in order to secure sponsorship for her team the Shrimps. Harry was a retired Army Officer and basketball player from the Pay Corps at Worthy Down. They negotiated a very good deal and were accepted into the League in 1977. The first National League team in the South or as it became that year the Solent Area. That team was very successful only losing to Sheffield, the team that has dominated England Women's Basketball for the last decade at least. Solent won the Division 2 and The National Trophy and reached the last 8 of the National Cup before losing to Turnford Tigers at Sports Centre St Mary's. They had just about all of the GB and England Team at that time. The present Eurosport Basketball commentator Roy Birch was their Coach.