Six teams will kick off the 23/24 SBL Premier Division season this weekend, with newly promoted Drumchapel Glasgow TTC hosting last year’s runners up Ormesby.
The league will this year feature eight teams, with Drumchapel Glasgow TTC and Table Tennis Daily joining the top ranking sides from across the UK to make up the Premier Division.
This weekend will be opened by two fixtures at 14:00 as Fusion face Brighton TTC and BATTS host North Ayrshire TTC. Drumchapel Glasgow TTC will then line-up against 2022 champions Ormesby at 19:00.
Ormeau start the defence of their title on 30th September as they welcome league newcomers Table Tennis Daily.
Brighton TTC, who entered the first fully inclusive British League squad last year, were involved in a number of extremely tight games last season, regularly seeming to just miss out 4-3. They have strengthened their ranks by signing David Andersson and Toby Ellis. They will join Paralympic gold medallist Will Bayley this weekend as they look to get off to a winning start.
Fusion travel to the south-coast buoyed by their performances in the Premier Cup, where they picked up a bronze medal. Lorestas and Larry Trumpauskas who both put in a player of the match performance last season will play alongside Josh Bruce.
BATTS will hope to start their march to more silverware after winning the inaugural SBL Premier Cup just a few months ago. They will field England number 10 Josh Bennett and Ralph Pattison, fresh from a trip to Rio where he won a team bronze in the World Schools Championship. They both played an integral part in BATTS’ successes last year. The team for Saturday will be made up by new signing Alexis Douin from France.
Their opponents, North Ayrshire TTC, come into the new season off the back of a strong showing in the last campaign. Hugo Torngren is set to make his debut for the Scottish side. The Swedish player trains at the highly-rated table tennis centre in Eslov, Sweden. Fellow Swede Viktor Gorman returns to NATTC after a series of impressive performances last season but is absent this weekend. Making up the rest of their squad on Saturday will be the Scottish trio of Colin Dalgleish, Martin Johnson and Chris Main.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s tie Main said: “We are confident in our team this season and will hopefully start well again as we have done so in our last two seasons. BATTS will obviously be confident after winning the Premier Cup so it will no doubt be a great match against them.
“It’s also good to see two new teams competing in the league with Drumchapel and Table Tennis Daily joining the top division. It will be a strong league and everyone in our team is looking forward to it getting started this weekend.”
On Saturday evening Drumchapel Glasgow will make their Premier Division return against Ormesby. The north-east side will be a tough introduction for the Championship winners, having finished second last year and winners in 2022.
The home side will be made up of Yaser Rouzak, Danny Bajwa, Garry Dodd, Victor Guang Shi. Rouzak has represented Drumchapel in the SBL since 2009. Ahead of his side’s first match in the SBL’s top division he said: “The club is delighted to be back in the Premier Division after a number of years. This time around we will be returning with some new faces who won the Championship last year. We are gearing up for some hard matches, but we are looking forward to the challenge and to welcoming supporters back to Drumchapel once again”.
Ormesby are sure to challenge the top spots again this season, with a strong pool of players to pick from. Last season’s league stand-out David McBeath, who won 13 of his 14 singles matches, heads up their team this weekend. Benjamin Piggott and youngster Thomas Rayner make up their trio as they aim for a second title in three years.
You can watch every game live on TTE.TV, find out more by clicking here.
Saturday 16th September
BATTS v North Ayrshire – 14:00
Brighton TTC v Fusion – 14:00
Drumchapel Glasgow TTC v Ormesby – 19:00