We’ve made a great name for ourselves, says Suffolk Saxons’ Joel Douse after debut season

Suffolk Saxons' Joel Douse, right, engages in net play with Bristol Jets' David Jones. Photo: Simon

Suffolk Saxons' Joel Douse, right, engages in net play with Bristol Jets' David Jones. Photo: Simon Lee Photography - Credit: Archant

Joel Douse has said the Suffolk Saxons’ players will focus on the many high points of their first National Badminton League season despite being “gutted” at missing out on a place in the league final.

Defeat against Nottingham at Ipswich’s Corn Exchange on Monday night put the hosts out of the running for the championship title, decided in a playoff match between the teams finishing the league in first and second.

But despite the disappointment of missing out at the final hurdle Douse said the club’s debut in the NBL had been hugely positive.

The men’s singles player, who lost 3-0 on the night, said: “I think we were expected to be fighting at the bottom and we challenged everyone the whole way through the season and I don’t think there was a team we really feared in the end.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t quite get over the line in the end but I’m sure we’ll be back next season and hopefully even stronger.

On his match against Kieran Merrilees Douse said: “Unfortunately for me it wasn’t my night, I never got settled on the court and it was just one of those games.

It was that bright spark of maybe making it into the final which kept me going.”

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Monday actually saw Douse take on his former club, having been a Nottingham player last season.

He said he switched to the Saxons, despite it being a brand new franchise, to get more time on the court.

Douse, a fearsome left-hander who played a key part in the first home victory over Surrey Smashers, said: “I was with Nottingham the season before but I was a bit younger then, I didn’t get much game time. Saxons contacted me and gave me the opportunity to play a lot more and I jumped at the chance.

“It was that sort of thought of stepping into something we don’t really know much about or how it’s going to go but it couldn’t have turned out much better.

“Yes we missed the finals but the team itself has made a great name for itself and I’m sure we’ll come back next season and do even better.”

He added: “We are a bit gutted but we have to think of the highs and for the fans I think, the way we played I hope we pleased them and they’ll come back next time.”

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