Let’s hear it for the boys as this new pairing are revved up and ready to go…

By Katie Garner

Of all the new players thrust into the limelight of being in Wychelm’s starring squad this season, by far the most enthusiastic, hard-working and generally loveable pair has to be our treasurer Nick and his partner Barry, both featuring in the team for the first time this September. Joining the butch ensemble that we proudly call our Men’s Team, these guys will have their work cut out for them as we desperately want to improve our ranking in Division Four, after last season’s cheating scandal saw the results and fixtures get completely confused and muddled. However, with such strong and strapping lads stepping up to the service line, I have every confidence that they can succeed.

l-r: Barry and Nick

l-r: Barry and Nick

Barry has been at Wychelm a little while now, and although he could be considered part of the furniture, he is a complete firecracker on court. There is nothing slow, half-hearted or lazy about how Barry plays, as he sincerely throws himself gallantly into every shot, and the brilliant thing is that he can play well at both the front and back of court. Barry is a completely pleasure to partner and is more than willing to negotiate tactics and see what works best. A passionate player with a competitive spark that I can only see exploding as the match season embarks – especially as Barry will also be playing in our Mixed Team. Always on his toes, Barry has great movement and covers the court incredibly well, which is definitely one of his strengths and a relief for whoever partners him. He has finesse and a slyness with his sneaky drop shots yet the power to rain smashes like hail stones.

The reason I believe that Nick and Barry will play so well together is purely because they have a very similar style of playing. While this could normally be considered a downside and a rookie mistake maybe, I believe that the opposite will prove true with these two. Nick again has a dogged determination on court, with an almost desperate need to never give up on the point, which I personally feel is a brilliant quality in a player. Since Nick has joined Wychelm, you can actually see a marked improvement in his play as he has fine-tuned his tactical play to become such an accomplished player. His clears and drives have a wonderfully raw power and his roadrunner qualities ensure that the court is well covered, making him a reliable partner. With both Nick and Barry being so good at court coverage, I expect their opponents will find it difficult to find a spare spot between them. Nick I feel is a strong player at the back of the court, and this should work well with Barry’s nifty net pieces at the front. Nick has been a complete asset to the club since he joined – not only has he been a regular at almost every club social, which is a sure-fire way to win brownie points with me, but he has thrown himself into club life by volunteering to take on one of the most challenging and tedious committee roles without even a blink of an eyelid. A lovely bloke and an amazing player.

Never say never with this pair… there’s going to be fireworks, fast running and flabbergasted opposition.

Barry’s best shot: This sneaky shotster knows his spaces and works hard to hit them every time with his collection of drops and net play.

Nick’s best shot: An excellent all-rounder, it’s hard to pin-point one specific shot but I’ll opt for the drive. It’s a meanie.