11 POINTS WITH THE WILDCARD HOPEFULS
by ALAN THATCHER
Ben Coleman and Lyell Fuller are set to meet each other on the
Glass Court on finals night, with the winner of their
best-of-three shootout awarded the wildcard spot in the 2016
Canary Wharf Classic main draw.
We set the two contenders some questions - first up, Ben Coleman
11 POINTS WITH BEN COLEMAN
Ben, qualifying for major events can be brutal. What's been your
toughest qualifying event so far?
Qualifying for big events can be tough because to start with you
usually get drawn against a top seeded player if you make it
through. Great challenge, though, because these are the matches
you need to overcome to make the step up to the next level.
I think the last two years at the Canary Wharf qualifying I've
been drawn against Adrian Waller first round and not had much
luck, so I'm glad he's straight in the main draw this year!!
2: What are the main benefits of gaining a Wild Card
straight into the Main Draw?
Main benefits are the good ranking points, not having to try and
get through a tough qualifying draw and of course, you get to
play in front of such a fantastic crowd.
3: How difficult is it for players to make the transition
from a plaster court in qualifying to the all-glass show court?
It's tough because it is completely different. The ball
movement, the feeling, it is also something you need to adjust
to. It's where we all want to be in the future though so you
have to get used to it.
How much are you looking forward to playing in front of a big
crowd at one of the great international squash venues?
Can't wait! Hopefully I can make it through qualifying and play
in the main draw there anyway but it will be great.. Something
I've wanted to make sure I do! It's a special place and quite
close to my home.
5: You beat Lyell 3-0 in the BSPA Croydon final in
December. Please talk us through that match.
Lyell had a fantastic run to get through to the final. He's
quickly improving but I managed to stay ahead of him throughout
that match and I was playing well. I never gave him many
chances, which was nice.
6: What changes do you expect Lyell to come out with at
the East Wintergarden?
I expect him to try and dictate the game against me from in
front. Hopefully that won't be possible for him and I can play
7: You have enjoyed some excellent form in recent months.
What do you put that down to?
This past year/18 months has been a big step forward for me.
I've learnt a lot and become a much better professional. I feel
in a good place right now with good people around me and just
want to show that in my tournaments now.
8: Those results must boost your confidence enormously.
Are you seeing life differently from, say, a year ago, with
regard to your career ambitions?
Definitely. I have ambitions to be the best and if I didn't then
I wouldn't be playing this sport as my profession. I'm very
happy and just want to give the sport my all in these next few
years in order to reach my full potential hopefully.
Talk us through your training programme. Who is your main coach
and who are your main training partners?
My main coach is Paul carter but for the past two years I have
been seeing lee drew as well which has been great. Ed baker is
my strength and conditioning coach in Hatfield.
Along with these, the rest of England squash help a lot with my
development. Main training partners would be Adrian Waller,
Charles Sharpes and Daryl Selby probably. I get on court a bit
with Pete Barker as well which is great for me.
10: Who are your main sponsors?
Tecnifibre are my main racket/ bag sponsor and have been for
quite a few years now. I am also sponsored by Salming for kit
which is great. Karakal support me by supplying grips and I'm
also sponsored by a brand called 'Push' for energy gels.
11: What are your targets for the remainder of 2015?
My targets are to continue pushing up the ranking towards the
top 50. Progressing my game and competing/beating those players
in the top 30/40/50 in the world.
Ben and Lyell set for Wild Card Shootout