AS Knutsford Vikings swimmers gear up for their appearance in a final on Saturday, head coach Phil James is hailing the club’s progress over the past 12 months.

Youngsters will represent the Vikings in the Arena League Division Two A Final at Ellesmere Port on Saturday.

They will do so after qualifying at the first attempt, having gained promotion last December after winning the Minor Division.

After the first two rounds this year, the Vikings achieved a final league placing of eighth out of 16 teams to earn their place in what promises to be an exciting ‘A’ final.

“I am very hopeful, all being well, that we can improve on eighth position, although it will be a very tough ask given the quality of the teams at the top end of the league,” said Phil.

“I am very pleased and proud about our qualification.

“The initial aim was to consolidate our status in Division Two so to finish in the top half of the table and qualify for the top final at our first attempt is a fantastic achievement and just reward for the hard work, talent and dedication of not only the swimmers but also the coaches, committee and volunteers at the club.

“Everyone plays their part in creating what I now believe to be one of the best swimming clubs in Cheshire.”

There have been other notable successes since the new season started in September.

Abby Comline was selected as girls’ captain for Cheshire in the National County Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Based on achievements and performances at the 2019 Cheshire County Championships, Tom O’Brien, Annabel Wallace and Evie Blackburn were selected to attend the Cheshire Swimming Development Day which included a pool session coached by Olympian and Commonwealth silver medallist, Michael Rock.

At the North Midlands Championships, Evie was crowned best 11-year-old girl, Chloe Bedford best 12-year-old girl and Adam Bradley was runner-up to the best 11-year-old boy.

“We had several overall event champions and as a result of the whole team’s excellent performance the Vikings won Most Improved Club,” said Phil.

At the Warriors of Warrington Percy Mason Gala, the Vikings won best visiting club on the back of numerous medals, county and regional qualifying times and personal bests.

Twenty-five swimmers will represent the Vikings in the Cheshire Championships next month, which compares to a team of 15 last time.

So far 11 of the club’s swimmers have achieved the standard times for the 2020 Swim England North West Summer Regionals.

Such has been the club’s growth over the past 12 months there is now a waiting list of talented young swimmers wanting to join the club.

“As head coach I am very proud of our achievements, it is clearly evident that the club has made significant progress in the previous 12 months,” said Phil.

“The challenge now is to maintain that progression both in and out of the pool.

“We have some wonderful swimming talent and as that pool of talent grows it gives reason for us to be excited about the future of the club.”

If anyone would like to get involved, particularly regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact the club on email via