A brand new Men’s team means brand new pairings, so let’s kick off with this dynamite duo

By Katie Garner

(l-r) Sneaky shot star Al with is new partner to our brill big smasher Stuart B

Everyone knows I am a complete bossy bum. So much so in fact, that I decided that this season, I would take the Men’s Squad in hand and have a complete turnaround. For the first time in quite a while, we had loads of volunteers for the Men’s so it was a delight to be able to pick and choose a brand new team to represent Wychelm this season. After playing pick and mix for a while I finally came up with our three winning pairs, so let me introduce you to pair number one – laugh a minute Al and cheeky chap Stuart B.

I already know Stuart’s game very well, as he is my Mixed Doubles partner and an absolute delight to pair with. As winner of our Big Smasher Award at the Wychelm Christmas Awards last year, we all know he can thunder down smashes with lightning speed, leaving opponents staring as it scuttles across the floor. Our loveable builder is a definite powerhouse, and although he has strength to spare, don’t underestimate the precision of the more delicate shots – his drop shots hold just as much gusto and a well -disguised drop can also secure the winner. Dedicated to the end, Stuart relentlessly never gives up, as he has an excellent competitive spirit and is ideal to be Captain of our Men’s team this season.

Al has been at the club about a year now, and ever since he joined, he has had his eye on the Men’s team, waiting for the new season to start so that he could jump in with both feet and do some damage to the opposition. Al is a fantastic leftie, with the most annoyingly deceptive serve you could ask for – a definite asset if you’re playing with him, a pure pain if you’re not. The great thing about Al is that he is such a versatile player. He’s more than happy for you to take the back while he battles it out with his amazing net play, although if you ask him to take the back, he does so with sniper-like skill smashes. Matched with an infectious laugh, high fives galore and a competitive streak the size of the Thames, I couldn’t think of a better partner for super smasher Stu.

As a team, they both have the right mix of skills to enhance, cover and support each other and since both are incredibly strong players in a multitude of different ways, I have my fingers crossed that this pairing will really make its mark on Division 4 this year. As a new pairing, I’m not sure what tactics they will adopt yet, but we’ll make sure to keep you posted on their results throughout the season.

Stuart B’s best shot: We all know this, all together now – STUART SMASH!

Al’s best shot: His impossible serve. It catches me out every time…damn him…