Not­ting­ham’s sheer be­lief in bud­ding new part­ner­ship


MATTHEW Not­ting­ham in­sists that, thanks to new dou­bles part­ner Har­ley Towler, 2015 is the year he breaks into the top two pair­ings in the coun­try.

The 22-year-old from Macclesfield (right) switched part­ners in Septem­ber as the Bri­tish team gears up for an­other Olympic cy­cle in the build-up to Rio.

Along­side Towler, the for­mer Wilm­slow High School stu­dent is hop­ing to fight his way into con­tention for one of the cov­eted spots on the plane for Rio, and they be­gan their cam­paign with victory in the YONEX Welsh In­ter­na­tional in Novem­ber.

And de­spite los­ing out in the fi­nal at the English Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Craw­ley last week­end, Not­ting­ham is adamant that with the chem­istry they share the pair­ing can go all the way.

“Last sea­son was one where I pro­gressed a lot,” he said. “We’re def­i­nitely go­ing in the right di­rec- tion. We’ve got to two semis and won a tour­na­ment so we’re do­ing well.

“We are do­ing ex­tras be­fore and af­ter each ses­sion ev­ery day; ex­tra phys­i­cals and video anal­y­sis.

“We’re al­ways to­gether and talk­ing about how we’re play­ing, so we are mak­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion to­wards be­ing on the same wave­lengths quicker.

“Har­ley shares my ‘hard work’ at­ti­tude and on the court he is al­ways want­ing to win and do­ing his best.

“Usu­ally it takes peo­ple in part­ner­ships time to get used to each other and see how each other play, but we’re do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to make sure that is as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble.”

Not­ting­ham and Towler went down to the num­ber one seeds, the ex­pe­ri­enced Chris Lan­gridge and Mar­cus El­lis at the Na­tion­als in a thrilling three-set fi­nal. And de­spite miss­ing out on that oc­ca­sion, Not­ting­ham be­lieves they’re rapidly closing the gap on those above them.

He added: “Get­ting to the fi­nal at the Na­tion­als was a big step for­wards and it was where we prob­a­bly played the best bad­minton that we’ve played.

“It was a tight game but they have a bit more ex­pe­ri­ence in that pair and Har­ley and I are def­i­nitely push­ing them now.

“We re­ally be­lieve that in the next six months we can be up at their level com­fort­ably.

“We want to be go­ing to Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships and other big tour­na­ments like that so we can get used to the feel­ing – all that ex­pe­ri­ence counts.”

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