Urban celebrate winning the trophy last season (picture by Michael Loveder)

Urban make case for defence in new-look British League

Matt Shaw (British League press officer)

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The teams are in, the tables are set and the drama is ready to unfold.

Premier British League kicks off this weekend. With it, there are new players, a new structure and more competition.

Following consultation, the games will take on a new look, adopting the ‘Olympic’ format that will see a doubles followed by four singles. With that, each team will field three players, rather than four as was the case last season.

The defending champions, Urban, kick-start their season against Batts, who avoided relegation and secured a mid-table finish last term.

“We’re looking forward to the new season and the new format,” said Urban manager Gergerly Urban.

“I think most teams feel this is a step forward towards a professional league.

“How we do will massively depend on player availability, but we’ll take it one match at a time and we’ll be competitive in every match.”

Batts counterpart Graham Frankel said: “Our target would be to finish higher than last year’s position of fifth.

“I think this weekend’s match will be difficult but there will be other, better opportunities to pick up points. I’m very pleased about the change of format and we’re looking forward to seeing how that works.”

Urban’s hopes of retaining the title have been bolstered by their ability to retain last season’s title-winning squad.

They will be represented at the weekend by Daniel Schaffer, Szilard Gyorgy and Alim Hirji, who will go up against a Batts side represented by Jack Bennett, Steve Beerling and new addition Ismail Akindiya, a strong performer in the British League’s lower leagues.

The match starts at 11am and will be streamed live on Facebook.

Ormesby, last year’s runners-up, start their season at home to Cardiff while Drumchapel begin their hunt for the league title they lost last season away to North Ayrshire.

The other game sees Fusion take on Ormeau.

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