Badminton Life

English Go With Youth for the Thomas Cup

With so much going on in the badminton world over the next few months, it can be easy for some of the tournaments to slip by without too much notice.

This can alleviate some of the pressure for some of the players or it may allow some up and coming players to get some experience and exposure. This is the approach taken by the English badminton team when selecting their squad for the forthcoming Thomas Cup event. It will be a young English team that heads for Indonesia to take on the might of so many of the world's best badminton nations.

One player who is bound to make his international debut will be Ben Beckman. Beckman is the son of ex England international star Karen Beckman and family pride will no doubt be on show for this event. Beckman is likely to be joined in making his debut by Dean George.

Another notable element of the team is that it will feature the Adcock brothers playing together in the same team for the first time. This will provide a neat tie in with Ben Beckman as the Adcock brothers will become the first siblings to play for the same England team since the 1980s. On that occasion, it was Karen Beckman and her brother Duncan Bridge who were the family players. Chris at 18 is the younger of the brothers whereas Robert, at 21, has more experience and a silver medal from the European Team Championships.

The English team has been drawn in Group B and will be facing Korea and Malaysia, who have won the tournament five times previously. It will be a tough challenge from the young team but even a third place in the group will ensure the English team passes to the first round. If they manage this, they will face off against the runner up of Group A, which could mean China, Canada or Nigeria. The winners of this match-up would bring a tie against the winners of Group C. There is no way of knowing in advance but the favourites for Group C are expected to be Denmark.

The decision to go with youth for the Thomas Cup has no doubt been influenced by this years Olympics. It is only natural that players like Andrew Smith will want to focus on the major event. Smith in particular has battled hard over recent months to book his place in Beijing and he will be looking to triumph there.

With London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, this early blooding of international players may see the English national team gain an early advantage. There will be a lot of host nation expectations placed on the British teams for the 2012 Games, so the building of players to that goal will be a regular occurrence for UK sports stars.

The question of which is better between youth and experience is a question that will forever be asked in sport and the English Thomas Cup will offer some ideas about it. Even if the team is unable to bring back a medal and some glory, it may provide the players with a lot of experience which will benefit them greatly in the future.

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