Clyne out to shine against
11 POINTS WITH ALAN CLYNE
By ALAN THATCHER
number one Alan Clyne has been awarded the wild card at
Canary Wharf this year. He has been drawn against world champion
Nick Matthew and is looking for a major performance ahead of the
Commonwealth Games in Scotland later this year.
1: Alan. Great to see you in the draw next week as the wild
card this year. What are your thoughts on the Canary Wharf
Last year I managed to play two good matches in the qualifying
over in Wimbledon and find myself in the main draw at Canary
Wharf for the first time. It was a great set up, the crowd were
really involved in the matches and although I lost to Peter
Barker in the first round I wanted to make sure I was able to
come back and play again next year.
2: You've landed the toughest draw possible with world
champion Nick Matthew your opponent in the first round. It's
obviously a massive challenge, but also an opportunity for you
to claim a major result.
It probably says something about how well the tournament is run
and how much the players enjoy playing there that it is such a
strong field again this year so it would have been tough whoever
I drew. However I am definitely looking forward to getting on
there and producing a good performance against the top player in
the world – after him the draw looks a little easier…
3: I've seen a few Tweets from you suggesting that it's
always good to do well against a top English player. Does the
old Scotland-England rivalry provide extra motivation for you?
It's always easy to get motivated playing against any top player
as you know you have to raise your game to challenge them. There
are so many English players around these days that I end up
playing them a lot and am always well up for it! I love
representing my country in the team events and on many occasions
it's where I've produced my best performances.
4: You must be excited at the prospect of playing in the
Commonwealth Games in your home country later this year?
Playing in the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi was one of the
best experiences I've had in my career so to have the Games at
home is huge. It is my number one focus for the year.
5: What do you know about the squash venue?
The squash venue is in Scotstoun in Glasgow and has been up and
running for over a year now. There have been several doubles
events played on the courts already and the Scottish squad have
been travelling through from Edinburgh to get some practice on
the actual Games courts, so we are quite familiar with the venue
6: Please tell us a little about the existing squash scene in
Glasgow. What are the main clubs, for example?
I've been based in Edinburgh for about 10 years now and this is
where we have our National Competition and Training Centre. I'm
not too familiar with the ins and outs of the scene in the West
of Scotland but I do know that historically it has always been a
strong area for squash in Scotland.
7: You and your doubles partner Dr Harry Leitch enjoyed a
famous win over England's Peter Barker and Daryl Selby in the
Commonwealth Games last time round. Have they ever challenged
you guys to a friendly rematch?
Haha no. Maybe it will happen this summer!
8: Where are you based for most of the year, and who are your
main coaches and training partners?
I am based at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which is our
National Competition and Training Centre. The Scottish National
Coach, Roger Flynn, runs our sessions up there and most of the
national team train there with our support staff. We have a good
group of younger players coming up through the rankings whom I
train alongside, including Kevin Moran, Greg Lobban and Dougie
9: I've been following your rise up the rankings ever since
you won the Kent Open four years ago. How do you set about
planning that next major push into the top 20?
There are a lot of quality
players around at the moment all pushing to get up there. I'm
focusing on making improvements to different aspects of my game
all the time in training to improve my performances. Hopefully
this will mean the results will come and the ranking will take
care of itself.
10: I guess you must be enjoying playing in the PSL for
Nottingham. Please tell me about that win over Aussie No.1 Cam
Pilley a few weeks ago?
atmosphere that is created at PSL matches makes playing in them
so much fun. And there is no better atmosphere than at home in
Nottingham! Usually at PSA matches the crowd is there to enjoy
some good squash whereas at PSL, not only do they get good
squash, but are there to support one player or the other.
Against Cameron it was the deciding match and I had the majority
of the crowd on my side so I was delighted to be able to pull
through with the win that night.
11: Will you have lots of family and friends cheering you on
against Nick Matthew next week? Can we expect to see a few
Saltires being waved around the East Wintergarden?
I'm hoping I'll have a few supporters in the crowd. Robert
Findlay and Michael Stewart usually come and support whenever
I'm down south. Dr Harry Leitch may even make an appearance. I
think they might be a bit outnumbered, though!
Thanks Alan, and good luck !