A strong contingent of 16 players from Wales entered the British Junior Open. This afforded our players the opportunity to play against the best players in the World. I was really proud of the attitude and commitment our players showed and the willingness to measure themselves against the best. Rhys Evans and Madalena Sidoli had notable finishes,placing them amongst the best in their respective age groups.
This was a golden opportunity for us as coaches to gauge our current standard and areas of opportunity. Greg Tippings, Richard Wright and Nic Birt all gained valuable experience in seeing the Welsh players under pressure. To compete with the World’s best we need to train and play at higher intensity. Technically our players are sound but we lacked the intensity and speed of the Egyptians and Americans in particular. As National Junior Coach it has given me valuable insight into the areas we need to adjust and to increase the intensity we train, play and coach at. I was heartened by the willingness of the Welsh players to challenge themselves and the attitude they displayed will stand us in good stead to make the necessary adjustments to compete with the World’s best. The hard work has started already and the enthusiasm from the players on the first training night back from the British Junior Open was exactly what we needed. I am already looking forward to the challenge of next year’s British Junior Open.