The first ever season of the National Badminton League reaches a thrilling finale on Sunday at K2 Crawley, and it has certainly thrown up some surprise results along the way, but University of Nottingham Badminton coach Martyn Lewis is loving every minute of it.
Lewis’ team are still in with a chance of picking up badminton’s newest piece of silverware after claiming two wins out of five in the regular season, finishing third and qualifying for Final Day. They head into the end of season showdown in Sussex where they will face runners-up, and arch local rivals, Team Derby for a the right to play for the title, though will be without skipper and star man Chris Adcock, of Ravenshead, due to international commitments.
Click HERE to read interview with Chris Adcock about his absence from the big day.
The play-off, one of two on the morning session of live NBL action on Finals Day, gives Nottingham an immediate chance to make amends for the 4-1 reversal against Team Derby just four weeks ago.
The manner of defeat in a local derby on the last match night of the regular season was a result that fans and expert pundits never saw coming.
That NBL unpredictability has been both a help and a hindrance for UoN Nottingham after ending up on the long and the short end of some of the league’s most shocking results throughout the nine month season.
But Lewis maintains that sort of drama – a new, exciting brand of badminton that forces people to take notice - is exactly what the sport needed
“The NBL is something that the UK has needed for a hell of a long time and to actually be part of setting it all up has been great,” he admitted.
“A lot of people are talking about it. Sure there’s some that are sceptical and there’s always the old school way of thinking that it was better before.
“But the NBL is attracting a new crowd, viewing figures have been great and it’s just brilliant to see some exciting badminton.”
And with the chance to become the first ever NBL champions within their sights, Lewis is certain his troops can write their names in the history books on Sunday.
He added: “I said at the start of the season we’re only in this to win it, we’re not here to make up the numbers and we can come away with the trophy.”
Can University of Nottingham Badminton be crowned the first ever NBL champions on Sunday? Click HERE for tickets.