Welsh Wizards have signed former World champion Gregory Gaultier to lead their team into their first Premier Squash League season.
Newly-formed Wizards start their PSL fixtures in Cardiff on Tuesday, September 25 and they have already signed World ranked players from France, Egypt, Hong Kong, Spain, Holland and Wales.
They will play home matches any the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff and aim to be highly competitive in a League which attracts the World’s leading players.
The top three players in the rankings – Mohamed ElShorbagy, Ali Farag and Marwan ElShorbagy – and all of them compete in the PSL.
Wizards, who will wear St David’s flag yellow and black kit, will have Frenchman Gaultier at number one and he is currently number seven in the World, while Cardiff-born Tesni Evans, who now lives in Rhyl, is their leading lady.
British champion Evans, 25, is number 12 in the women’s World rankings and will be a powerful force for the Welsh team.
Squash Wales have attracted sponsorship from Karakal, Red Squirrel marketing, MerchemAsylum printing and Bangor University, while they are still in talks for a title sponsor and shirt sponsor.
Welsh Wizards start their PSL season against Coolhurst, who are headed up by German number one and World number five Simon Rosner.
Tickets go on sale at 6pm on Monday
Welsh Wizards squad so far:
Gregory Gaultier (France). Ranked 7. World Open Champion in 2015, lifting the crown after being runner-up three times, and has won the British Open on three occasions.
Nicknamed ‘The General’ and has been World number one three times. During 2016-17, Gaultier dominated squash like never before in his career.
He won six successive tour titles, had a 27-match unbeaten run and was once again ranked the best player in World squash.
Omar Mosaad (Egypt). Ranked 14 (formerly ranked 4). Popular Egyptian Omar Mosaad is a tall, imposing figure with a hard-hitting style.
Nicknamed ‘The Hammer of Thor’, a term from an American fantasy novel.
Made his debut for Egypt in the 2013 World Team Championship and had a 100 per cent record, winning all four of his matches. Edged out by Gaultier in the 2015 World Open final. Lives in Prague.
Max Lee (Hong Kong). Ranked 19. The best player from Hong Kong on the PSA World Tour.
Reached career-high ranking of World number 12 in December 2015. Helped Hong Kong win the Asian Team Championships, beating Pakistan, in April 2018.
Edmon Lopez (Spain). Ranked 58. A 22-year-old from Barcelona. Climbing the rankings steadily, currently at the highest point in his career and aiming to move again.
Peter Creed (Wales). Ranked 53. One of the most energetic and exciting players to watch on the PSA World Tour.
Caerphilly-born Creed, who has trained under six-times British Open Champion Jonah Barrington, plays out of Rhiwbina SRC in Cardiff. Has won seven PSA World Tour titles.
Emyr Evans (Wales). Ranked 124. Cardiff-born Evans, who is Tesni’s younger brother, is number three in Wales behind Joel Makin (Pembrokeshire) and Caerphilly’s Peter Creed. Aged 21 and a hugely competitive player with big potential.
Elliott Morris Devred (Wales). Ranked 388. Three-time Welsh under-19 Junior Champion, number four player in Wales.
Member of the Wales Squash National Academy at the Cardiff Squash Club. The 20-year-old from Barry has represented Wales at junior and senior levels, making his senior debut at the 2017 European Team Championships in Finland.
Tesni Evans (Wales). Ranked 12. British champion, Welsh champion five times. Highest-ranked Welsh player of all-time, won singles bronze medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Milou van der Heijden (Holland). Ranked 39. Former Dutch champion. Won the Jersey Squash Classic last year.
Grace Gear (Hatfield, Hertfordshire). Ranked 94. Promising 20-year-old competitor who is climbing the rankings.
PSL fixtures (match nights subject to change):
Tuesday 25: Warwick/Kenilworth v Birmingham, Welsh Wizards v Coolhurst, Pontefract v Bristol, St George’s v RAC, Newcastle v Nottingham, Bexley v Chichester.
Tuesday 23: Bristol v Warwick/Kenilworth, RAC v Welsh Wizards, Nottingham v Pontefract, Chichester v St George’s, Birmingham v Newcastle, Coolhurst v Bexley.
Tuesday 6: Warwick/Kenilworth v Nottingham, Welsh Wizards v Chichester, Bristol v Birmingham, RAC v Coolhurst, Pontefract v Newcastle, St George’s v Bexley.
Tuesday 27: Warwick/Kenilworth v Pontefract, Welsh Wizards v St George’s, Bristol v Newcastle, RAC v Bexley, Birmingham v Nottingham, Coolhurst v Chichester.
Tuesday 4: Newcastle v Warwick/Kenilworth, Bexley v Welsh Wizards, Nottingham v Bristol, Chichester v RAC, Pontefract v Birmingham, St George’s v Coolhurst.
Second Half fixtures reversed, dates to be confirmed.