Essex scouting mission unearths new young talent

Essex talent scouts headed for Connaught Squash Club in Chingford on Sunday on the lookout for new players to join our burgeoning county squad.

We opened the doors for players under-13 to step forward and show us what talents they have and coaches Lauren Selby, Paul Selby and Richard Rowley were left more than impressed by the skills, commitment and enthusiasm of all the young stars who attended.

The players were put through their paces in a series of disciplines designed to test their agility, co-ordination, athleticism and racket skills and it’s safe to say the standard was pretty high. Eight-year-old Daisy Breese (is that a fabulous name, or what?) almost ran herself into the ground as she pushed herself through the punishing court sprints. Her racket skills will improve in the years to come but she already possesses a fighting spirit and fabulous smile that will serve her well.

Left-handed Alice Lindsay, who plays her squash at Club Kingswood, is a 10-year-old with impressive racket skills and lightning speed who looks to be a great find. Equally, Maleeha Mughal from Connaught, possesses an athleticism clearly inherited from her father Nadeem, a former high class cricketer.

Maleeha’s younger brother Zain, just seven years of age, made up for his tender years with staggering energy levels that sent coach Paul Selby checking the small ads for a Zimmer frame and Stenna chairlift. And Luke Scott-Stevens from Bishops Stortford was a nine-year-old who could run and run all day. His pace around the court was matched by good racket skills and an undeniable desire to win.

Club Kingswood in Basildon provided two players, Callum Ewens and Adrian Dibattista, who both impressed in all disciplines. Similarly, Alfie Breese from Redbridge and Luke Woolridge, who plays at Marconi, have both benefited from good early coaching and look on track for successful times ahead.

Senior Essex coach Lauren Selby summed up the session. “We wanted to offer young players the opportunity of a trial in front of the Essex coaches. Sometimes players slip through the net and we don’t get to see how good they are or what potential is available to us. Today’s get together was a great start in that process. We are all agreed that we’ve seen some terrific talent which is wonderful. Twenty years ago, current England players Pete Barker and Daryl Selby (my brother) attended a trial day just like this, so who knows what might come from today.”

The Essex scouts hold their second trial day in the north of the county in two weeks’ time. It’s on  Sunday July 13th 2014: 10am until 12.30pm. at Colchester Garrison, Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium,Berechurch Roadm Colchester C02 9RQ.

If you need any further information, Karen Selby, the Essex Junior Squash secretary, is the one to contact. Her email is KarenSelby@GMX.com or you can call her on 07866 455594.