Jacob Chadwick (below), captain of 2018 Parks League champions Queens, delivers his report:
The 1st team had great results this year, winning the 1st Division Parks League for the second time in three years. See details here.
The success is as a result of several factors in my view: Firstly, we had a squad of five of some of the best ladies players in the league – all very experienced and committed to Thursday night matches. It was often more of a head-scratcher as to who I leave out of the team, rather than who I put in – a rare problem for a captain in this league. They are: Katie Moorman, Kate Buchanan, Evelin Potocnik, Wendy Powell and Brenda Maguire. The other good thing is that they are all very different players stylistically – giving lots of strategic options – for mixed doubles pairings in particular.
There were some decent back-up female players to pick up on the odd occasion too – namely Katie Johnson and Sandrine Milland, who performed at a high level and won valuable mixed doubles points.
Whilst QPTC perhaps doesn’t yet have the very top individual male singles players in the league, it’s getting closer, and the strength on the mens side came from the depth of field and doubles-ability. The starting four at the outset of the season were Matt Hassell, Rhys Daniel, Joel Pearcey and David Brockman. However, the ability of the substitutes to earn consistent points was, by the end of the season, equally as important. By half way through the season, ex-regulars Jacob Chadwick and Alastair Quarton had recovered sufficiently from injuries to start playing a few matches – which coincided with the times when Rhys Daniel got injured and Joel Pearcey and Matt Hassell couldn’t play as much for external reasons. A really strong group of guys also made themselves available to keep the quality up: Sam Waller-Carr, Charlie Brown, Josh Franco and Jon Clack all made significant late-season contributions to secure the league win. Dave Brockman wins the award for most reliable male player this year, doing pretty much the whole season, whilst battling with some injury niggles of his own.
Thanks go to the other captains, Sam Waller Carr, Alan Sanchez and Barbara Michael, as they put in significant effort to support the 1st team this year, often more than myself. In particular I was aware of a huge effort from Alan to optimise the line-ups – and no doubt Barbara therefore had even more work to do as a result, so from an organisational point of view this win is very much theirs. Congrats also to Sam’s team who smashed it in the 2nd division this year. Lets hope all you promoted players can make space in the diary for Thursdays next year…..! 😉
The team loses some significant players next year, or at least won’t have the consistent availability enjoyed this year. Amongst those, I understand we’ll sadly be losing Matt Hassell and Evelin Potocnik who move out of the Brighton area. It will therefore be a different proposition and there will be spaces to fill all the way down through the league teams!
Thanks everyone for a great effort this year – Jacob Chadwick