Gavin Evans has joined Ormesby

BATTS back in big time as British League returns

Matt Shaw

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After 146 days in hibernation, the British League is back, and it’s back with a bang.

The eagerly anticipated 2015/16 Premier British League season finally gets under way at BATTS, Old Harlow, this weekend, with Britain’s eight elite clubs fighting it out for the most prestigious domestic team event this country has to offer.

Following an incredible, all-conquering season for Ormesby, they begin their defence of the league title against hosts BATTS, who will inevitably have a vociferous crowd backing them on their return to the Premier British League fold.

Ormesby enter the campaign with the inclusion of former Barrow star Gavin Evans, who will provide much-needed firepower following the departures of Enio Mendes and Helshan Weerasinghe. Evans joins English superstar Darius Knight, one of the country’s finest talents Tom Jarvis, and Welshman Michael Marsden in a quartet that will no doubt have a large say in the title race this season.

However, competition across the division is as fierce as ever, with last year’s runners-up Nottingham Sycamore securing the additions of Bulgarian international Petko Gabrovski and former British League player of the season David McBeath to their ranks. World No 329 Gabrovski is an ideal replacement for the outgoing Matt Ware, whilst the arrival of McBeath could well be the final piece in the jigsaw for Sycamore, who have retained the services of Kenichi Matsubuchi and Chris Doran too.

After a year of consolidation last year, Drumchapel Glasgow return even stronger this time round. Adding the relatively unknown, but undoubtedly dangerous duo of Hongsheng Wang and Xiaoxun Wu to their already strong line-up, with Craig Howieson and Chris Wheeler holding the fort, it could well be the year of the Scots in the British League.

Fusion’s quartet of Michael O’Driscoll, Kazeem Adisa Adeleke, Lorestas Trumpauskas and Luke Savill shall once again provide stern competition for the rest of the field, whilst London Academy have recovered from the departure of Adam Nutland to BATTS with the recruitment of Mattias Stenberg and Matt Ware.

As for BATTS, a hectic summer recruitment drive has culminated in them possessing one of the strongest teams the league has to offer following their promotion through the play-offs last year. Israeli world No 370 Michael Tauber, Swedish star Johan Hagberg, the returning Tobias Bergman and of course Nutland comprise a formidable outfit that could well be the dark horses this year.

Fellow play-off success story Cardiff City TTC will hope to solidify their position in the league. Craig Bryant joins Yongbo Zhang, Wiktor Dzwonkowski, Simon Noutch and Patrick Thomas in attempting to capture their ambitions, whilst Kingfisher will also look to keep their place in the league, and have a good chance of doing so with the potential return of Richard Andrews.

Whatever happens, it won’t disappoint.

Opening fixtures (11am, September 12)
BATTS v Ormesby
Cardiff City vNottingham Sycamore
Drumchapel Glasgow v London Academy
Fusion v Kingfisher

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