Barker out, but Selby ready for
England Test ...
With Peter Barker unavailable for England’s World Men’s Team
Championship bid in France next week, Daryl Selby has
declared that he is ready and willing to take on the extra
responsibility of being promoted to number three in Mulhouse.
Barker, England’s third string behind Nick Matthew and
James Willstrop in their European Championship-winning squad
last month, was unable to commit to the world event from June 9
to 15 because his wife Alex is expecting their first child.
However, Selby, the world number 14, has represented England at
the tournament before – two years ago, when he was the fourth
member of the squad who finished second behind Egypt in Germany
– and is happy with his current form.
recent form is pretty good,” said the 30-year-old from Essex. “I
have been playing well – I made the quarter-finals of the Kuwait
Cup in March and the final of the Grasshopper Cup in April – and
I hope I can play well next week.
“Being number three in the team is an important position and I
believe I can beat any other number three I come up against if I
play my best squash, which I will hopefully do.”
With Barker out and Tom Richards still not recovered from his
hamstring injury, Adrian Grant, the 32-year-old world
number 24 from London, again completes the squad – as he did at
There, England took the title on games countback in the final
against France, after Barker and Selby won both their matches
3-0 following Willstrop’s and Matthew’s respective defeats by
Thierry Lincou and Gregory Gaultier.
national coach Chris Robertson does not believe that
result will help or hinder England’s chances in France. He
"It just shows how close matches can be on the day. It just
illuminates how tough it can be for both countries and that is
good for the competition."
As well as third seeds France, Robertson counts Egypt, bidding
for their third successive world men’s team title, and fourth
seeds Australia, champions a record eight times, as England’s
main obstacles to a fifth world men’s team crown.
"France are our major rivals for the title, along with Egypt and
Australia," he said. "On paper, Egypt are number one seeds and
rightly favourites in many people’s eyes. They have the titles
to show that and with seasoned professionals in their team, I
expect they will be confident for the event.
"Australia have Cameron Pilley and ex-world number one David
Palmer, along with a world-class number three player. This shows
that they will be dangerous for all teams they play. Countries
that make up the top eight seeds are all dangerous and must be
respected by the ‘so-called’ higher teams."
So what are England’s chances of success?
"As number two seeds, we must be and are focused on winning the
title," Robertson replied.
"We have world-class players who expect success and enter these
events with the confidence and belief that they can win. As
coaches, we foster and support that ambition and we have high
hopes we can be there at the end, causing some problems for all
have been drawn in a preliminary group of 15th seeds Canada,
17th-20th seeds Colombia and 29th-32nd seeds Namibia, but
Robertson does not expect an easy ride through to the last 16.
"Both Canada and Colombia will provide some stiff opposition, as
both teams have some seasoned professional players who will want
to cause problems for our team," he explained. "With the
three-man format, we need to make sure we respect every match
and opponent, and do the best job possible on the day."
Robertson, who will be accompanied by assistant national coach
David Campion and physio Jade Elias, hopes to give
all his squad a runout, so that they are accustomed to the
Mulhouse glass courts.
"It is good practice to attempt to give all the players a match,
so everyone is up to speed with the courts, conditions etc, to
be ready to compete when the ‘bigger’ matches come around," he
"The glass-court conditions tend to suit the top professional
players, as they play on these courts more often than a
traditional court. Let’s hope they do."
England win in
The squad in Manchester
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