12 July 2006
We've known for a
while that Linda Elriani was going to retire from competitive squash
- the emotion when she played her last game for England at the Euro
Teams in Vienna, and her half-announcement on the podium there made
it pretty obvious.
But now it's official, and it's officially the end of an era.
caps for England, untold Euro Team wins, World Team Champion, 86
unbroken months in the world's top ten, 3 Commonwealth Games, 14
WISPA titles in 16 years on the circuit, National Champion - at last
- in 2005 ... been there, seen it, done it, got the t-shirt ... is
it any wonder she's ready for a rest!
Well, not exactly a rest. Along with husband Laurent she'll be
moving out West to take up a coaching position at Greenwich - a club
she has fond memories of, winning there in 2003 and 2005.
She'll be sorely missed on this side of the Atlantic, and we just
hope the Americans realise what a gem they're getting.
Best of luck Linda, from all at SquashSite ...
Q&A: Framboise asks Linda about her retirement ...
Why have you decided to stop your career now?
I still enjoy training and playing
squash, but I'm not getting any younger and at some point you have
to move on to the next stage of your life, and I feel ready to do
I've always known I wanted to go into coaching after playing as I've
always done coaching throughout my career, really enjoyed it and
found it very rewarding, so when the two jobs came up for Laurent
and I at the Field Club of Greenwich in Connecticut, USA, we decided
it was a fantastic opportunity for us.
It's great as Laurent can still play some PSA events around his
coaching commitments, especially as there are so many tournaments in
the USA, but I'm going to concentrate 100% on coaching and the new
We've just finished doing three weeks of camps at the Field Club in
Greenwich which we thoroughly enjoyed and it was so great to get to
know the families etc before we're there full-time. We're also lucky
to have some great people to work alongside.
Where are you going to be living, and have you found an
We'll be living in Greenwich and we've
luckily found an apartment to move straight into when we return on
21st August. It's only five minutes' drive to the club and also
within walking distance of the main avenue in Greenwich where the
restaurants, shops, bars and cinema are, so it should be a good
location for us.
What are you going to miss about playing professionally?
I suppose I'll miss the
competing to a certain extent and I'm probably going to miss the
atmosphere at certain tournaments and the friendships I have with
other players and people I've met in different places around the
globe. Also visiting different and new countries.
What's great about the circuit is that you visit cities and
countries that you may not get the chance to visit or holiday to, so
consequently we get to see all sorts of cultures, environments and
ways of living, and it adds to the whole experience of being a
I've got numerous photo albums from my 16 years of travelling and
playing. It's so funny to look back at them and it brings back so
many great memories.
I'm also going to miss my on-court sessions with my coach Mike
Harris and when we move to the USA the biggest thing of all will be
missing our family and friends in England. One thing that will
soften the blow will be that we already have several friends that
live in and around the area we'll be based in.
What are you NOT going to miss?
I'm not going to miss
having jetlag so regularly, trying to sleep on planes, checking in
at airports and living out of a bag.
Best memories of playing?
Wow, I have so many great memories from
the last 16 years, so it's pretty hard to single any out. I suppose
my five highlights have to be:
Winning the British Nationals last
year ('05), especially after so many attempts!
Winning the bronze medal in the
Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games doubles with my best mate Fiona
Geaves and having both my parents there to see it after all the
support they've given me over all the years.
I've always loved playing for England
so I've enjoyed every one of my 70+ caps.
My England highlight was being
captain when we won the World Team Championships in 2000.
And lastly my highest world ranking
of 3 and English ranking of no 1.
Worst memories of playing?
I luckily don't have too many bad
memories and I try my hardest not to concentrate on the negative
side of things and try to focus on the positive and move on.
Looking forward to the future, or regretting the past?
I feel that I've achieved everything
that I am capable of in squash and that I gave it a good go, so I
have no regrets. I now want to concentrate on being the best coach I
can possible be. I'm totally looking forward to the future.
As I said, I'm ready for the next phase of my life and we're also
looking forward to starting a family in the next year or so.
Lastly, just a HUGE
thankyou to everyone who helped, influenced and supported me
throughout my career.
It's been a fantastic journey and I've been lucky enough to share it
with some amazing people.
To be honest, I feel more excited than sad, as I'll still be working
in the sport I love and I'll be just as involved in squash as before
– just from a different perspective!
Hope to see you all sometime in the US of A !!!
WISPA WORLD RANKINGS
1993: Swiss Open
1996: Art of Squash
1997: Aachen Open
1999: Exterieur Open
2000: Marsh McLennan Open
2001: Bronxville Club Open
2003: Greenwich Open
Monte Carlo Classic
2004: Marsh McLennan Open
2005: Greenwich Open
2006: Dayton Open
National Champion 2005