53 teams have registered for the 2015/16 season, spread across five divisions. This has increased by 2 from the previous season. Five newly formed teams enter Division Four; Gt Horkesley F, Pegasus H, Lawford E, Tollesbury C and Tollgate F. One new team enters Division Three; Dedham D. To balance the divisions out, some of the teams that finished in relegation positions last season were not moved down.
Gt Horkesley A aim to retain their Premier Division title for the third consecutive season. However, with the current Men’s Singles champion, Jake Collins, not taking part in the Colchester league this year, the team is missing one of their most vital players. Rowhedge and Tollgate will probably be the usual challengers for the crown of “Colchester Champions”. The ever-improving Jane Li (current Ladies’ Singles champion) of Tollgate A will again be a key player in their fight for the title. St James B (formerly St James C), Dedham A and Walton A might find life in the top tier difficult after moving up from Division One, but will be relishing the challenge that awaits. Sam Hume (who won the Cadet Singles last season), of St James B, will be one to watch in his first season playing in the top division.
In Division One, no team was relegated from the Premier Division or, subsequently moved down from there to Division Two, so there doesn’t appear to be on first glance, any standout teams that would get promoted or relegated. It is anyone’s to play for and could prove to be very close come the end of the season. St James C (formerly St James B) and Rowhedge D (formerly Rowhedge F), who finished as the bottom two, may have a better chance of staying up this season with Lawford A, Gt Horkesley B (formerly Gt Horkesley D) and Pegasus B (formerly Pegasus C) all moving up from Division Two. Robert Wood (Lawford A) will hope that his win percentage will be as consistently good in Division One, after ending last season with 32 wins out of 36 games in Division Two. Steve Holland (Gt Horkesley B) will be another player hoping to do well after helping his team gain promotion.
In Division Two (another division where no teams were relegated from the higher division), the final table at the end of the season could be another tight one. Rowhedge G (formerly Rowhedge K) have a challenge on their hands after jumping up two divisions from Division Four. Tollesbury B, St James D and Pegasus D are the three teams that come up from Division Three. Roger Clarke (Tollesbury B) will enjoy playing in a higher division after winning 86.36% of his games last season in Division Three.
Division Three could be the most interesting division of them all as there are 3 teams making the move up from Division Four and 1 new team joining them; Rowhedge H, Rowhedge I (formerly Rowhedge J), Lawford D and Dedham D (new team). Pegasus F have another chance to prove their worth in Division Three after more shuffling took place in the divisions. Rowhedge I & J both feature young players who performed to a high standard in Division Four last season. Lauren James (Rowhedge H) continues to improve at a rapid pace, so it looks like good table tennis runs in the family and she will definitely be one to keep an eye on for the forthcoming season!
Division Four is usually the division where up-and-coming youngsters try their hand at competitive table tennis, and with a few new teams entering the division, there could be a future star in the making. Gt Horkesley F, Pegasus H, Lawford E, Tollesbury C and Tollgate F are the new teams that have signed up. Each will be hoping to gain valuable experience and push towards gaining promotion to the next tier in the league.
With new players, teams and plastic balls making their debut appearance this season, it looks set to be one of the best seasons Colchester Table Tennis League has had to offer. Good luck to all who take part and may the best team(s) win!