European Team Championships 2010  27-Apr 01-May  Aix en Provence  





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TODAY at the EuroTeams
26-Apr, Preview:
Europe's Top Squash Stars Head
For Aix-en-Provence ...

Despite travel problems caused by the recent Iceland volcano eruption, the 2010 European Team Squash Championships will take place as planned next week at Set Squash in Aix-en-Provence in France from 27th April to 1st May.

The leading European Squash Federation championship is marking its 38th Men's event since 1973 and its 33rd Women's event since 1978. 27 nations will compete in the 2010 men's event and 21 in the women's.

In a bid to help National federations who might have players stranded overseas, the ESF has introduced a temporary amendment to its rule regarding the maximum number of players that can be nominated for each squad which will now be up to eight men and seven women.

Hosts hope to upset England

England are seeded to retain their titles in both the men's and women's events. But France, runners-up to England in all but one of the previous ten men's finals, will be hoping that home advantage will lead to their first title success in 36 appearances since 1975.

The England men's squad will be led by Nick Matthew, the world No2 from Sheffield, supported by James Willstrop, Peter Barker, Daryl Selby, Adrian Grant and Alister Walker ranked 5, 8, 9, 13 and 14, respectively, in the world.

Second seeds France boast a squad featuring Gregory Gaultier, Thierry Lincou, Renan Lavigne, Mathieu Castagnet and Gregoire Marche ranked 5, 7, 32, 50 and 82, respectively.

Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and Slovakia will be returning to the men's championships after being absent last year.

Unbeaten England field two debutantes

England will hope to extend their remarkable 32-year reign as women's champions since the inaugural event in 1978. But the 2010 squad will be missing two of the country's leading players - Alison Waters, the British National champion, and Laura Massaro both of whom are still recovering from injury.

However, Yorkshire's world No2 Jenny Duncalf will be making her seventh successive appearance in the event, leading a squad which will include Tania Bailey, the former world No4 who made her European Team Championship debut in 1999. But the squad will also include two event debutantes: Sarah Kippax and Dominique Lloyd-Walter, ranked 21, 24 in the world.

The favourites are expected to face their stiffest opposition from second seeds Netherlands, their opponents in the final for the past seven years. Former world number one and world champion Vanessa Atkinson will lead the Dutch attack in her 18th successive appearance in the event since 1993, but the expectant Natalie Grinham who made her debut last year will be missing.

Hosts France, headed by top twenty players Camille Serme and Isabelle Stoehr, will be hoping to end the Dutch sequence of finals and their Pool B clash will be crucial.

Turkey will be making their debut in the women's championship.

Men's entries (seedings):

A: England (1), Netherlands (4), Germany (5), Finland (8)
B: France (2), Wales (3), Scotland (6), Ireland (7)

C: Spain (9), Belgium (16), Israel (17), Croatia (24), Turkey (25)
D: Denmark (10), Czech Rep. (15), Austria (18), Poland (23), Cyprus (26)
E: Sweden (11), Hungary (14), Luxembourg (19), Gibraltar (22), Slovakia (27)
F: Switzerland (12), Italy (13), Ukraine (20), Greece (21)

Women's entries;

A: England (1), Ireland (4), Germany (5), Italy (8)
B: Netherlands (2), France (3), Denmark (6), Switzerland (7)

C: Scotland (9), Sweden (16), Poland (17)
D: Spain (10), Finland (15), Luxembourg (18)
E: Wales (11), Czech Republic (14), Greece (19)
F: Belgium (12), Austria (13), Cyprus (20), Turkey (21)

How does it work ?

The format of the Euro Teams varies depending on the number of entries. In both competitions this year the top eight seeds are the only ones who can win it, with the top two in Pools A and B advancing to the semi-finals.

If there had been one more men's team the format would have been quite different, with every team able to win the event and Champions League style last 16 playoffs.

The remaining Pool A and B teams are joined by the winners of the other Pools in the 5/12 playoffs, with the first-round winners guaranteed a top eight place for next year.

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