British League Premier Division Preview

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Sule Olaleye will lead Fusion once more

Can anyone stop Fusion?

Britain’s top players have been practising hard for the start of the British League Premier Division season and it kicks off next weekend (15/16 September 2012) at St. Neots Table Tennis Club.

Admission is free to Riversmead, The Common, St. Neots, Cambridge, PE19 1RU at 11.00 hours on the Saturday and at 10.00 hours on the Sunday.

Look out for extended British League Premier Division coverage this season. The British League coverage is going to  be improved to include tweeting, extended Photography as well as Player quotes and opinions in addition to coverage of the 16 matches which take place next weekend.

Last year’s Champions Fusion remain unchanged. They are led by 1992/6 Olympian Sule Olaleye, with support from Omkar Torgalkar, Kazeem Adisa Adeleke, England no. one Veteran Lorestas Trumpauskas, England no. 12 Veteran Tom Cutler and new signing Clive Carthy.

Last year’s runners-up B-BATTS, who were in contention throughout the whole of last season, are strong again.

Eli Baraty explained: “We have lost Filip Szymanski who has signed a contract to play in the Bundesliga and Loic Bobillier who was unbeaten last year can’t make it this time because of family commitments but we are delighted to add ‘big’ Chris Doran and Niall Cameron to our squad.”

Eli Baraty is looking forward to the addition of Doran and Cameron

England no. six Doran and Scottish no. three Cameron will join English Veterans National Champion Michael O’Driscoll, Eli Baraty and Da Shuai ‘Dash’ Zhang in a team who should be in contention again.

Promoted Ormesby, the sleeping giants of the British League, should also finish close to the top. They have acquired the services of Welsh no. two Ryan Jenkins (who had an 80 % record last season) to add to that of England no. 16 Michael Marsden and Yongbo Zhang (who was undefeated last season in Division One South West & North and also in the Premier Division play-offs)  and England no. 47 Simon Noutch make up what is a very strong squad.

Grand Prix Jenkins will play for Ormesby this season

Sycamore should also do well. The athletic improving Paul McCreery is their no. one and they have strength in depth as well with England no. eight Matt Ware, England no. nine David McBeath, England no. 15 Sean Cullen and England no. 32 Kevin Dolder providing what should be excellent support. They could be this season’s dark-horses.

Sycamore will need Paul McCreery to be on his best form

Wymondham, who did so well last year, will again be led by Tobias Bergman (he had a 58% record last year) with support from Scottish no. five Sean Doherty as well as Ashley Robinson, Owe Karlsson and Ian McLean.

Drumchapel Glasgow’s players won’t be quite so well known in this country. They will be led by the still improving Craig Howieson (the Scottish no. two) and he will be joined by four Scottish players all ranked in their top 10 – Craig Hardie (no. seven), Richard Main (no. nine), Christopher Main (no. 10) and Scott Barton (no. eight).

Barrow Tornadoes – the Champions in 2010’s aren’t as strong this time. England no. 14 Craig Bryant leads them with support from Bradley Evans, Scott Crawford. Jonathan Crawford and Paul Cicchelli. They may well be looking to strengthen their line-up this week.

Promoted Kingfisher, who played brilliantly to achieve the second place in the play-offs, have acquired the services of Guernsey’s Garry Dodd (82% last Season in Division One South West & North).

However, he won’t be available this weekend as he has glandular fever. Kingfisher Club Secretary Colin Dyke said: “Our team for the weekend is: Richard Andrews, Wiktor Dzwonkowski, Lloyd Gregory and Conor Edwards. We know it is going to be a tough ask to collect enough points to survive but hopefully Garry will be back for the December session.” He added: “Kingfisher are renowned for their fighting spirit and we will give it our best.”

For all the up-to-date Premier League action keep track on tabletennis365.com/sbl as well as the British League Facebook and Twitter accounts

Steve Kerns

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