Tesni Evans and Joel Makin will lead Wales into their European Team Squash Championship challenge later this month.
Rhyl-based Tesni, at number nine in the women’s World rankings, and Joel, the World number 15 from Haverfordwest, head up the Welsh team for matches against England, Spain and Switzerland in Division One of the championships.
The event at Edgbaston Priory in Birmingham will see more than 200 players representing 22 nations battle it out for the coveted titles in what promises to be an exciting forerunner of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham during 2022.
Former World number three David Evans, Squash Wales Performance Director, says: “This years event promises to be an exciting tournament.
“With both Joel and Tesni achieving remarkable results on the World tour I am confident they can lead their respective teams to success at this event.”
There is a strong contingent of players from Premier Squash League team Welsh Wizards in the national line-ups. Peter Creed, Emyr Evans and Elliott Morris Devred are Wizards in the men’s team, while is number one for the women.
The European Champions run from Wednesday, May 1 to Saturday, May 4 and the Welsh selections are:
Men: Joel Makin, Peter Creed, Emyr Evans, Owain Taylor, Elliott Morris Devred.
Ladies: Tesni Evans, Deon Saffery, Stacey Gooding, Elin Harlow.
Coaches: Andrew Evans and David Evans.
Matches will be played at Edgbaston Priory Club’s World-standard courts and on a custom-built glass show court.
England and France will again be main contenders for the titles, with the pair having contested the last 11 men’s and five women’s finals, but Wales have the firepower to make an impact.
France will be looking for a fourth men’s title in five years, while the English women’s team will be aiming for a ninth successive triumph.
World class players taking part in the event include Germany’s Simon Rosner (ranked 5), Camille Serme (France, 4), England’s Sarah-Jane Perry (6) and Laura Massaro (7), British champion Tesni Evans (9) and Joel Makin (15).
England national coach David Campion has named the nine-strong squad which will head to the Europeans.
Men: Declan James, James Willstrop, Tom Richards, Daryl Selby, Adrian Waller
Women: Sarah-Jane Perry, Laura Massaro, Alison Waters, Victoria Lust
Tickets for the European Championships can be purchased via eventbrite.
Men’s Pool A: France (number one seeds), Germany (4), Scotland (5), Hungary (P2).
Men’s Pool B: England (2), Spain (3), Wales (6), Switzerland (P1).
Women’s Pool A: Englanbd (1), Netherlands (4), Wales (5), Scotland (P2).
Women’s Pool B: France (2), Belgium (3), Switzerland (6), Spain (P1).
The top two in each pool progress to semi-finals, bottom two to play-offs.
Squash Wales have named their under-19 squad for the European Junior Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, from Wednesday, April 17 to Saturday April 21
David Evans said: “This is a prestigious event that over the years has produced many stars in the professional game.
“Wales has a history of punching well above our weight at this event against many of the super powers of squash and this year, through excellent preparation, team spirit and determination we have high hopes to continue this trend.”
Looking to build on encouraging performances in recent years, the 2019 squad is brimming with exciting young talent, including Lewis Poole, Srikar Mummidi, Kieran Hillman, Ciara Richards and Layna Beattie.
The squad will be led by team coach Andrew Evans in Prague.