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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 10:57 UK

Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary

Sonia Mkoloma (Litmus Images)
By Sonia Mkoloma
England international defender and Brunel Hurricanes captain

The Pink Ladies netball team
Sonia was part of the Pink Ladies, who beat both Australia and New Zealand

Hi everyone!

I have completed a long 2009 season playing in the Australia and New Zealand Championships, with commentators continuously saying how disciplined I have become as a player in the defensive circle and what an amazing reach I have!

My time with the Mercury Energy Tactix has come to an end and the fact we ended up sixth in the ANZ Championships was a great achievement for myself and the team.

It was better than they had done in the previous year and you all know that for me it was where I was able to gain my first team win in the tournament - something that I had not managed with my former team, the Central Pulse.

Was it still a tough year? Well yes, as I still felt that as a team we did not reach our pure potential, and we were still losing games by a nail-biting point or two here and there, but once again every game was a true contest and challenge.

Recently I was also invited to be part of a World Select team in the New World International Netball Series consisting of the World 7, Australia and New Zealand.

This was a great honour to be among a group of the most talented netballers out there.

The contest was split up into two legs, which showcased both Australian and New Zealand netballers, depending on which nation we were playing. The great thing was that the core players stayed the same.

Alongside me from England were Tamsin Greenway, Louisa Brownfield and Geva Mentor.

Watching the looks on the faces of the Australian and New Zealand players, coaches, media and public as we took down their netballers on the court was a sight

Jamaica's Althea Byfield and world youth championships bronze medallist Romelda Aiken were also included, as well as Samoa's Catherine Latu and Frances Solia. Natasha Chokljat, who was the captain, Peta Scholz, Demelza McCloud and Megan Dehn represented Australia.

We were known as the Pink Ladies. Our shout was "Think Pink" and our song was none other than Michael Jackson's 'We are the World'.

We beat New Zealand's Silver Ferns in the Test series before going off to Australia to play their national side, the Diamonds, in a one-off Test.

Our Australian team-mates were replaced by Kiwi quartet Donna Wilkins, Debbie White, Wendy Telfer and Vilimaina Davu. Another great line up and can I brag about another great win over Australia?

One of the best parts of being part of this exclusive team was the fact that it was a once in a lifetime chance and watching the looks on the faces of the Australian and New Zealand players, coaches, media and public as we took down their netballers on the court was a sight. I'm still very much filled with sweet, pink thoughts!

Now I am back in London and it's all go, go, go! It is time to turn to England's preparations for the World Netball Series in Manchester.

You lucky folks will get to watch the top six nations for the first time in a netball showcase. It is really exciting and you should all be there so get logging on to www.worldnetballseries.com for all the details.

Sonia Taylor
Sonia Taylor was assistant coach at the Hurricanes

Before I sign out, I want to send out my love for one of netball's true inspirations, who has been taken from us way too early.

Sonia Taylor recently passed away. She did so much for the inner-city netballing communities and clubs in and around London. I can say that she has touched the lives of many of the girls I grew up with on the netball courts, and she will be sadly missed.

Keep sending in your questions and I'll try to answer them in my next update.

Lots of love to you all,

Sonia x



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