By Pete McCarthy
At the start of the academic year, the men’s badminton 2nd team didn’t have too many expectations for the forthcoming season ahead but under captain Christian Lane, they’ve gone above and beyond, winning the league and gaining promotion. In doing so, the team also remained undefeated throughout their league campaign, with just on meeting ending in a tie. We caught up with the 22 year-old captain to reflect on a ground-breaking season.
“The season has gone perfect. We were expecting a mid-table finish by the end of the season but to gain promotion and to remain unbeaten all year in the league was an amazing achievement.” Said Lane.
The team secured promotion from the Northern 4A division despite being tipped for another season in mid-table mediocracy, but the badminton skipper puts the recent success down to hard work, saying “I’ve been extremely proud of my team. Everyone had put in 110% to get the best possible results and as captain it’s even better.”
An outstanding unbeaten run for Christian’s badminton side included winning nine out their ten league games, dropping points just once against title challengers Lancaster. The return match proved to be the pivotal game in the race to be crowned champions as they won emphatically, explained Lane: “we went into the match away at Lancaster knowing that if we won, the league was ours and come away with a 6-2 victory was amazing, even though the game was fiery with the match deciding who would win the league.”
Promotion and champion status was then secured in the following, and final, fixture – a comfortable 5-3 home win over Edge Hill perfectly topped off a hugely successful season for the UCLan team.
As for the future? Christian was realistic in his ambitions for next year but was still confident that his team can cement their place in a new division: “Ambitions for next season are to stay up, get a mid-table finish or even to scrape through from getting relegated. It’s going to be so tough and losing a few players at the end of the year will be a big loss for UCLan.”
Upon being asked whether he’ll be staying on as captain of the side, however, Christian responded with news that he will be standing down from his role on a high note and handing the captaincy over, explaining: “I’ve decided to step away from being captain next year and focus on my studies. Just to be a team member and help out with decisions when needed is a role I thought would be most appropriate”.