HEAD coach Amie O’Meara is confident Ryland Netball Club can mix it with the best teams in the country after clinching promotion to Premier League Two.
For the past two years, the Bromsgrove side had fallen short in the play offs and they looked set for another tense finale as they sat in second place.
But Dudley Leisure’s victory over promotion rivals Kent County in the penultimate weekend of the season allowed Ryland to usurp them at the top of the table.
And O’Meara’s side then held their nerve to seal the title with an 47-36 win over Norfolk United.
“Promotion has been our aim since the beginning of the season,” she said. “The last two season has seen us lose in the play offs. If you finish first you go straight up, but if you finish second or third you go into a play-off weekend where you play against the team who finished eighth and ninth in the league above.
“You have to play three matches over two days in Loughborough and we have finished second in 2013 and 2014, so this is a big moment for us and we can now look forward to an exciting year ahead.”
Ryland, who recently picked up their winners medals at the Copper Box, are now among the top 20 teams in the country and O’Meara said they were ready to make the step up.
“A lot of Premier League teams have got England players, so that’s how close we are now,” she said.
“Our aim is to remain in the league and we will see how it goes. We will face teams like Worcester as well as sides from Birmingham and Warwick, so if we can finish top of the West Midlands region that would be a massive achievement.”
O’Meara insisted they would not be where they are now without the support of Sheila Perks who established the club in the 1950s.
“It is important to keep her in the limelight as we owe a lot of it to her,” she said. “She is in her 80s now, so she has taken a step back, which is why I have come in as coach, but she is a massive part of our success.”