Another successful campaign for the National Squash team held in Iceland last week.
On the finals day, the Men’s team won 5-0 and the Ladies team won 2-1 over the hosts.
The Ladies have now won 4 consecutive ESNST titles and the Men have just collected their 2nd consecutive title, a marvelous feat of recovery when they have been at the bottom of of the 6 nations that compete for a long time.
I said after the result –
"The results of this tournament comes down to being more dedicated to training and having a little bit of sacrifice, not only the individuals involved the past years but to the squad that are still developing too. And we can can still do more should the will of the Squad and the FSL choose."
"Each player have all played their part every match – that is why we have the best teams in the competition"
Sandra Denis, had a great tournament. For the first time she beat the Cyprus number who held on to a 15 year undefeated reign and has just came from success at the Masters of the British Open two weeks prior. And a victory against Iceland’s first professional player was a success as she is improving rapidly.
Francoise Donven was steady as a rock last week. She won all of her games comfortably.
Claudia Mich played all the matches at #3 this year. Some teams had changed their order of players so in most matches she was playing above her level. This experience in Iceland should encourage her. Winning 2 from 4 was expected.
In the Men’s Team it was Niall Woodger & Daniel Hutchines who got the team of to flying starts on every occasion. A good team is a balanced one and Luxembourg have it. This ensured Neal Raval (who was playing at #3) was relaxed before each match. He had two two tough 5 set matches and 1 forfeit against Monaco.
Vincent Pauli was the debutant this year and he played the first match for us against Liechtenstein. He won 3/1 and learnt a lot from this match. If he continues like he has this past season he will be a strong force for the team in the future, which is really positive news.
Stephane Ayache, was another player who had to play above his level, he collected 2 wins from 4. Good experience for him and what an achievement for someone who has been playing for only 5 years.
Sanjay Raval once again did it tough at # 1. Also 2 wins from 4 which is favourable enough for the team, considering the strength of his opponents.
So now the season is coming up with many tournaments in the G.D for all players. Sandweiler Open in three weeks, National Championships in November. And most notable The Dunlop Benelux Squash squash series comes to town in January. This is a PSA event so we can expect to see a good Open draw. Further down the calendar in March is the Top Squash Open which is the pinnacle of the season. Ettelbruck, Angels, Dexia have great tournaments and we can not forget our Belgium friends so closely connected to us Arlon & Bastogne who lead on the party front and get large support at their tournaments too.
Whether you are a complete beginner or whether you think you are the best of the best come along and take part in these events. I can assure you that no other sport can compete when it comes to the variety, frequency & enjoyment of events as Squash provides here in Luxembourg.
Have Fun, Keep Fit, Pay Squash
Nathan Sneyd (National Coach)