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Local clubs look to make their mark on the national stage

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

THREE North Staffs clubs are hunting for glory as they prepare to challenge for supremacy in a national junior league. Abbey View, Basford and Draycott have all signed up for the National Junior Club League and have elected to field boys' teams in various age groups. Organisers of the Staffordshire leg of the competition are putting together a match schedule and fixtures will get underway next month. The number of players in each team is being increased from three to four, with ties involving four singles and two doubles to allow more youngsters to get a taste of competitive tennis.

"The new format will involve more juniors this year," said development officer, Jeremy Lemarehand. "It will push players on the fringe of team tennis out of their comfort zones and into matches. They will see how exciting it can be and I am sure they will get a lot out of it."

Tennis Staffordshire has received a bumper crop of entries and the 50 boys and girls' sides are being placed into divisions. Winners will go through to a regional play-off, with a place in the national finals at stake.

"Staffordshire has done incredibly well in this competition over the past few years," added Lemarchand. "We have quality players and this is demonstrated when our teams win through to the national finals. "Last year Tipton won the under-18 girls' national final, which means they were the best team in the whole country in their age group - it is a fantastic achievement."

Sentinel, 06 February 2007
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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