Squash Wales Junior Teams have been back in action after a 2 year break due to the covid pandemic which severely restricted the opportunities for our juniors to compete. It was so rewarding to see our juniors having the chance to compete for international honors again.
Rhys Evans kicked off the International season by competing in the Under 19 European Individual Championships. Rhys came a very respectable 9th place in Europe only losing a close 3/2 to the French number 1 and then winning all his respective games in the play-off. Rhys then had the honor of leading the U19 Team in the U19 European Team Championships. Wales came 5th which is a great achievement and only lost out to England the Champions & France the runners up. Rhys had revenge in the Team event by beating the French number 1. Well done to Rhys Evans, Archie Turnbull, Josh Davies, Ellie Breach & Alyx Kelleher in coming 5th in Europe.
Next up came the Welsh u13 & u15 Teams competing in the 5 Nations. The U 15 Team came away with a Bronze Medal. Notable performances were Archie Turnbull & Millie Breach in beating the French, Irish & Scottish number 1’s. Also kudos goes to Nia Seran Thomas for winning the decider rubber against Ireland to clinch the Bronze Medal. Well done to Archie, Aled, Dan, Louis, Millie, Nia & Megan. The U13 Team found the going tough but competed admirably. 6 of the 7 players are available next year to compete in the same team, so this experience will be invaluable to the team. Notable performances from Madalena Sidoli beating the French, Scottish & Irish number 1’s. Well done to Reuben, Jude, Leon, Thomas, Madalena, Erin & Eliza.
To finish the International season off, The U15 & U17 Teams competed in the European Team Championships in Eindhoven. The U15 Team came 9th only losing out to France the number 2 seeds and champions Belgium. Realistically this team could easily have come 3rd with a favorable draw. The team showed great spirit and beat the 4th seeds Czech Republic & 6th seeds Switzerland in the play-offs. Well done to ArchieTurnbull, Daniel Higgs, Aled Davies, Millie Breach & Nia Seran Thomas. The u17 Team battled in every match and duly reached the quarter finals, notable performances from Ioan Sharpe & Ellie Breach. The Team came 7th in Europe and did themselves proud. Every match this team played went to a deciding rubber, truly competed with the best in Europe. Well done Ioan, Jared, Evan, Ellie & Izzy.
I was thoroughly proud of all the Teams and above all the attitude of the players. The Welsh Teams all competed with pride and played with great integrity throughout these competitions. Plenty to work on for next season and all the Juniors will be tuned in to watch out senior players competing in the Commonwealth Games and I am convinced these juniors will be tomorrow’s stars. Big thanks to the players, parents & coaches for making this a successful return to international competition for Team Wales.
Greg Tippings Squash Wales Junior National Coach