Ben Lane believes that trust in partnership is the key to a successful Commonwealth Games for Team England Badminton.
The 24-year-old has been selected for his second Commonwealth Games after mixed team bronze success on the Gold Coast in 2018.
The youngest member of the Team England badminton squad in Australia, Lane goes into Birmingham as a more seasoned operator and hopes his experienced partnership with long-time friend Sean Vendy will make it another medal haul event.
“It’s a very different team from the last Commonwealths,” said Lane.
“But especially in the team event, I think we can beat everyone.
“We have to play well, obviously, but we’ve got a strong team and can definitely win medals in all events.
“At the last Commonwealths, our badminton squad did extremely well with the number of medals we brought home, so it was a great experience for me to go to that first one on the Gold Coast.
“Hopefully I can bring home some medals in Birmingham.
“There’s pressure because it’s a home Games, we have to go into it with the mentality that we can beat everyone and try to win the gold in team and individual.”
Lane and Vendy first met whilst competing together on the under-11s circuit in England and their friendship has proved vital both on and off the court.
Combined with the guiding mentality of coach and mentor Nathan Robertson, the pair employ an ‘everyone’s human’ attitude which led to near success in front of a home crowd at the YONEX All England competition last month.
Lane and Vendy fought hard against 2021 world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi, going down 24-22 in the decider, and Lane is determined to turn those fine margins in his favour when he returns to Birmingham in July.
“I think in all partnerships in team sports you have to have trust,” he said. “Especially in those tough moments, you have to trust each other which I think helps me and Sean out massively.
“And Nathan never gets angry at us either, it’s always trying to teach us the right and wrong. He knows that everyone makes mistakes and learns from them.
“But I don’t think there’s ever a better place to play than in front of a home crowd in your own country.
“It doesn’t just inspire us playing, hopefully it will also inspire some younger children to pick a badminton racket up and get involved in the sport as well.”