Eren Gozcu is the player to beat
It’s that time of the year again, The 2020 Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Individual Championships have attracted an impressive 126 entries and 53 of those players are Juniors. Action kicks off at 19.00 hours on Friday evening (31 January 2020) at Hylands School, Chelmsford (Sherwood Drive entrance) and continues late into Saturday night (for a scheduled 21.40 hours finish) and all the way into Sunday evening. Admission is free and it is hoped that many former players will pop in over the weekend.
The blue riband event as always is the Mens Singles and the favourite this year is newcomer Eren Gozcu, the highest nationally ranked player in the field. 2018 Champion, ace defender Duncan Taylor is seeded second whilst the Maldon County Over 60s stars John Poysden and Trevor Lloyd are seeded third and fourth. Other players to look out for include the younger up and coming stars – James Denyer, Liam Squirrell, Reece Seddon and Daniel Young. Players who are also seeded to win their Groups include Babul McLeod, Charles Sweeny, Steve Kerns, Gary Young, Paul Davison and Eric Green. The trio of Lee McHugh, Simon Jarvis and Peter Barrett can consider themselves unlucky not to be seeded and will be out to prove a point. Notable absentees include last year’s Champion Ugur Saglik, 2012 and 2013 Champion Alex Abbott, four times Champion David Cole as well as Paul Lucas, Casey Cross, Sam Lowman and Terry Dowsett. This year the groups will only be made up of three players instead of four players in an attempt to shave two hours off a heavy playing schedule. Two players qualify from each Group. The composition of the groups invariably makes interesting reading and Groups one, two and eleven stand out. In Group one James Denyer faces Simon Webber and Dan Anderson whilst Group two pairs John Poysden, Ian Whiteside and Wudong Liu. Group 11 could be the pick of the action. Duncan Taylor is up against Lee McHugh and Victor Chan.
The Ladies Singles features four outstanding players. 22 times Champion Julie Johnson will be looking to add to her total and she faces stiff opposition from last year’s runner-up Jan Fuller, 2016 and 2017 Champion Dawn Baldry and newcomer Nika Bozek (who is undefeated in division five and looks to have several more gears at her disposal).
The Mens Doubles is often a pretty open event but last year’s Champions Reece Seddon / Liam Squirrell will be very hard to beat. John Poysden / Trevor Lloyd are seeded second. Lee McHugh / Eren Gozcu and 2018 Champions Charles Sweeny / Duncan Taylor are the joint no. three seeds. Julie Johnson / Jan Fuller will be looking to win the Ladies Doubles for the fourth year in a row and their Final opponents should be 2015 Champions Dawn Baldry / Shirley Carroll. New pairing Julie Johnson / Gary Young are the top seeds in the Mixed Doubles and they are expected to face another new pairing Eren Gozcu / Nyree Marsh in the Final. Others to look out for include Liam Squirrell /Annabel Sweeney and Lee McHugh / Nika Bozek.
The Veterans events (Over 40 s Singles and Doubles) take place on Friday Night. Trevor Lloyd is top seed in the Over 40s Singles and he is due to play Duncan Taylor in the Final. John Poysden and Gary Young are seeded to reach the last four. Other seeds include Eric Green, Steve Kerns, Babul McLeod and Paul Davison. John Poysden / Trevor Lloyd are the top seeds in the Veterans Doubles and they are due to meet Gary Young / Paul Davison in the Final. The number of entrants in the Over 50 Singles – 22 is the same as in the Veterans Singles. Trevor Lloyd and John Poysden are the players to beat as well as 2014, 2017 and 2018 Champion Babul McLeod. The standard in the Over 60s Singles is very high with Trevor Lloyd, John Poysden, Eric Green and Babul McLeod all seeded to win their Groups.
The Finalists in the Under 21 Singles get to appear on Finals Night. Eren Gozcu is the favourite with Liam Squirrell seeded second. Group one should be very competitive. Daniel Young meets Nika Bozek and Thomas Page.
Daniel Young, an established member of the County Junior first team is a strong favourite to win the Junior Boys Singles with Thomas Page seeded to meet him in the Final. In a very competitive event Sudheep Kamma and James Donald are seeded to reach the Semi-Finals. The six other players who are seeded to win their Groups are Aidan Noguchi, Harry Buckle, Joshua Bickles, Sam Mortimer-Ford, Charlie Craig and Ben Porter. Daniel Young is also the top seed in the Under 16 Singles, an event which has attracted a larger entry than the Junior Boys Singles. He is due to play the very promising James Donald in the Final with Sudheep Kamma and Joshua Bickles due to reach the Semi-Finals. The entry in the Under 14 Singles is also top class and this time James Donald is the favourite and he is seeded to meet Ben Porter in the Final. Joshua Bickles and Sudheep Kamma are again expected to contest the Semi-Finals. Others who are very capable of making their mark include Ben Porter, Harry Chivers, Jenson Davis, Oliver Cheung, Todd Martin and Charles Donald, The favourites in the Under 17 Doubles are Daniel Young / Aidan Noguchi with Charlie Craig / Harry Buckle seeded at no. two. Nyree Marsh / James Donald and Ben Porter / Sam Mortimer-Ford are expected to be contest the Semi-Finals. The Chelmsford Club have provided all the entries in the Junior Girls Singles and Essex Champion Nyree Marsh is due to play the player she beat in the Essex Final – Annabel Sweeney, again in the Final here.
Sunday’s play consists of the Divisional Singles and Handicap Singles and Doubles events. Ciaran Whelan is the top seed in the Division two Singles and he is seeded to meet Paul Sturton in the Final with Thomas Page and Gareth Joice expected to contest the Semi-Finals. David Gatheral is the favourite in the Division three Singles with Trevor Collin seeded second. This event is better supported than the Division two Singles and other potential Group winners include James Donald, Eamon Hall, Ken Sheard, Andy Hanlon, Ewan Hynd and Nick Duce. The Division four Singles is also well supported and this time James Donald starts as favourite. He is expected to play Andy Hanlon in the Final with Mark Glenister and Denis Crapnell due to reach the last four. Group two whets the appetite. Adi Kamma takes on Aidan Noguchi and Kevin Willis. Takunda Nerutanga is the player to beat in the Division five Singles and he is due to play newcomer Mike Lucey in the Final. Martin Goddard and Will Kwan are seeded to reach the Semi-Finals.
Best of luck to all players taking part.
Steve Kerns Press & Publicity Officer Chelmsford District Table Tennis League