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• Men's World Team Championships 2009  • Odense •  

Everything you never knew you needed to know about the World Teams ...

Boy Jonathon Power looks good and fit. When he was playing Khasif yesterday, you would have expected him to be a bit tired in the end, well, not at all. He is still that cat moving on the court, and keeping all his energy. Well, today against Duracell Clyne, he had more problems, but still manage to close it up 3/2….

Also, this was the first time I realised how much Greg inspired himself from the Canadian for his game, the straight back when playing, the drop shot racquet move, at times I thought I was looking at the Frenchman while Jonathan was playing…

Still, caught up with a very happy retired young man…

Why are you here?
I’m here to support the team, to keep them going down, keeping them in the top 16, while we are building our juniors up, and to have no visible drop in the team performance.

Why that number one position in the team?
I’m playing number one because I’m the best! Since I retired, I had to play every year in the National Championships, that’s to allow me to keep on playing for the team. And I won the title every year, which leads me today to play in the number one position…

Where are you based now?
After several years spent in Montreal, I’m now back in Toronto, there are far more squash courts there, I think about a hundred. I enjoyed my time in Montreal, but for my wife Sita, it was better to come back to Toronto too, as she’s got her family there.

How is the baby girl?
Parker is now two and a half years old, and she looks more and more like her mum every day, thank god for that. And she is asking me to play squash every day, I can’t be unhappy with that, let’s see how long that lasts… But I still beat her!

You are keeping busy I hear?
After I retired, I went straight and worked with juniors, in Mexico and in the States. And for two years now, I’ve been working on my lifetime project, a 10 court venue in Toronto for High Performance.

It’s a private venture, privately funded, with both school and squash, to allow kids to improve in both disciplines, until they are 18 years old. It’s not the same as the States, where juniors are training to play schools against schools and hoping to get grants, this is a High Performance set up, for any kids, not just Canadians…

No regrets then?
Since I stopped playing professionally, life has been great, my family, I’ve got plenty of time for them and for myself, I don’t have to travel anymore… I’ve never made a better decision.
They said…

Jesse Engelbrecht supporting his mates…

“Keep thundering them down, keep it raining … Come on boy, one [point] leads to two … Close that door now boy… Stephen Robert Coppinger the third, Earl of Nairobi … It’s all yours boy … What a shot, what a player … what a player, what a man …”

You may have seen the job these guys have done [
on the WATCH page], the three of them come from South Africa, they are a great bunch to work with in the press room, and they had flavour and a bit of fresh air to a press room that on certain tournaments, can be, how shall I put it, stuffy to say the least.

Quinton Schmidt (cameraman and technical), Nusrah Cassiem (Producer), and Grant Isaacs (presenter), have been working for a TV company called SuperSport in South Africa, a bit of a prestigious name I’ll say.

Well, they’ve allowed us to have their clips, and good job for them South Africa is having a great run so far. And it was the first time ever that I saw a cameraman, Quinton, actually supported verbally – and loudly, may I say – a player during a match!

Like I said, what a refreshing bunch those three…


The adorable John Milton, coach to Sweden, has been coaching Borja Golan for a long time, among other players, and wanted to send a little update to his fans about the Spanish player’s health.

“Borja’s now had his operation. His anterior cruciate ligaments have been completely replaced, instead of repaired, that the way they do it these days, by the surgeon that treats the Real Madrid.

It will take him around 6 months to be back on his leg, then around 3 months to start training again, and hopefully, another 3 months to be able to play small tournaments, and hopefully after that, he’ll be back playing to regain his top 10 ranking.

We hope that the PSA is going to install a shadow ranking that will protect Borja a bit. He is the only Spanish player to reach the top 10 ever, and if there was a four star tournament in his hometown, Santiago, it’s because of him really. He deserves to be helped a bit and protected by the system I feel.

So many players have been asking me how he is, and wishing him all the best for his rehabilitation. He should be here with the Spanish team really, he is very much missed in Odense and on the Squash Circuit…”

If I tell you this is the logo of Shabana's company, and his thigh actually, you think ah, that's got to be the Prince of Egypt on there.

Well, wrong...

I give you a clue... He is a very close friend to Shaabz, he is always a gentleman, and crippled with injury. Yop, Abbas....
Everything you never knew you needed to know about the World Teams ...


As Sue and Hedley Matthew stepped in the venue to come and support their son – like a few parents, so far we have Thierry Lincou’s and Renan Lavigne’s around that I can see/know – Nick played another six or seven rallies, before he twisted his ankle.

“I guess we should be relieved that we are actually here to support him when he needs us, but still, it’s incredible how unlucky he is with his injuries.


"I feel alright to be honest, I feel more about the team, because it puts pressure on them, maybe when I get home, it will be more about me again… But at the moment, if I can be of 1% of use by being here for the team, well, I’ll be 1% of use…"


This event allows us to reconnect with players/coaches we haven’t seen for a while….

For example, Anthony Ricketts, yes, he’s got hair, funny, ain’t it. He is still training the New Zealander team, but most important, he is about to become a father. He has a huge smile when he confirms that yes, Shelley is resting.

“We are half way, she is nesting, and she is loving it”….

That will be your greatest achievement of all, won’t it, Anthony…?
We have Rahmat Khan as well here. For the younger generations that may not know him, Rahmat was Jahangir’s coach, and for a few years was coaching Pakistan's junior team.

Now Rahmat is happily remarried and leaves in Kuwait, where he trains the Kuwaiti team. “It is a bit frustrating, all my players are rather busy with their studies, so I can only have them around one hour per day, and to compete against those guys here, it’s just not enough…”

Still, Kuwait created a few upsets recently, and I’m sure that Rahmat's touch is a lot to do with it…
What about Chris Walker? He is still here, coach to the USA. But during the year, now, along with Mark Chaloner, he is looking after a bunch of 25 juniors, that is from September to March.

“We are based between New York and Greenwich, and we work with them from Monday to Thursday. Weekends, we go with them on junior tournaments, or organise camps and clinics for them.”

What about squash competition then? Well, those two still play, but on the Doubles circuit, for a Hardball Doubles Team I understand. I’m sure it means something for our North American friends, beats me though..

And during summer? Well, more camps for Chris, mostly in San Diego, for SurfCity Squash. And do you remember Hanna Fekede Balcha, the lovely Ethiopian girl that delighted us during our ill fated Olympic Presentation in Lausanne? Well, she is part of that group…

So, building for the future is Chris? You bet…..

Sculptures from:  http://skulptur.odense.dk/

Everything you never knew you needed to know about the World Teams ...


Yippppeeeee… After a nice 32°C in Cairo, we were around 18°C in Amsterdam, nice sun, and as we landed in Copenhagen, rain started to drizzle. Nice stroll with my luggage towards track 2 of the Terminal 3, where you have a train 40m past the hour that takes you straight to Odense. When I say straight, you do visit the country a bit, but at least, no change of train or platform, and that is soooo important when you have both luggage for three weeks AND bad knees…

Fell asleep, I guess you won’t be surprised that I slightly tired, but didn’t forget to put my alarm clock, didn’t want to miss the stop! Upon arrival, lovely Inni Skildal was waiting for me at the station, along with Kenneth, one of the many shuttles drivers that the tournament offers to the players/officials between hotels and the venue.

Then a little promenade around the hotels – a bit of confusion regarding the one I should be in, and Tom, Chairman of Danish Squash saving the day by offering me his room, may he be publicly thanked, and finally, arriving at the main tournament hotel.

First person out, the Magician himself, yes, Jonathon Power. So happy to see him.

A few other familiar faces, the New Zealanders Martin Campbell and Alex Grayson, yes, Alex - brother of Campbell I guess, Kristian Frost – this is his town I believe. I feel less tired already. A quick shower, camera, computer, notebook, all set.

Arrival at the venue, with David Palmer resting but watching his team playing Wales, no French on site so far, a big match happening between Italy – nicknamed United Nations by the other teams – and Scotland.

A quick bite, again, all arranged by Inni. She is in charge of making us happy, and so far, she is doing a stunning job. “You’ll just have to say yes to everything I’ll say”, I joke. “Yes, I guess that much,” she retorts… I just found my new best friend…

So yes, a bit tired, would like to sleep for a week – ain't going to happen is it – but having all my mates around, I just feel home. And ready to roll…


Line Hansen at home

Yasir at work

New look for the French


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