Why Lee Drew is helping to unearth hidden gems
Each week we put an Essex squash coach under the spotlight for a quick-fire spot of Question and Answer. This week it’s the turn of LEE DREW, Squash TV commentator, England elite coach and former England international player.
Lee Drew (They call him Drewboy)
Where do you coach squash
Based in Colchester but have to travel around England for squads, predominantly Lilleshall or at the National Centre in Manchester
When did you first begin playing and how long have you been coaching
I first started to go on to court with my parents when I was very young, around 4yrs old. I started to play tournaments when I was 9. I have been coaching since January 09, so five and a half years.
Who is the best player you have ever coached
I am lucky that I get to work with all of the England players at squads from junior through to senior level.
What is it about the game that you love
I love the gladiatorial nature of the game, the fact that it is hugely physically challenging/dynamic and yet tactically like a game of chess. I love to go to a major tournament and see the glass court set up in an arena; there is a real aura surrounding it and they always look spectacular.
Do you coach any other sports
Who is your favourite professional player
I think the game is spoiled for choice at the moment and we will miss these great players when it is their time to move on. Personally I look for different things when I am watching the game; Technically I love to watch Shabana, for invention and pure entertainment Ashour, for professionalism and an all-round package Matthew, for accuracy Willstrop, for raw power El Shorbagy and for movement Gaultier.
Work hard to get the basic foundations correct, like the grip, this will allow you to develop while getting maximum enjoyment from the game.
Other than your own, what is your favourite squash club and why
Growing up, Lexden was like a second home to me. I also spent many years training at Pontefract when I was playing and they always made me feel at home there. Colets in Surrey is also a club close to my heart as I played for them over a long period of time.
Egypt is producing some fabulous young players. How are they doing it
There is no magic formula, lots of players from a young age putting in lots of hours of playing and working hard.
England Squash has a new chief executive starting soon. What advice would you give him
I saw Keir Worth operate first hand when he was our Performance Director. He is very passionate about the game, he created a culture that inspired individuals to work hard while checking and challenging each other; I am looking forward to more of the same throughout the organisation. I personally think that development and introduction to Squash at a junior level is paramount, the more youngsters we get playing across the country the better; they have to be the future of our game.
Have you ever deliberately drilled an opponent with a ball? Come on, be honest
Pasta or potatoes
Pasta, unless they are roast potatoes.
Steak or chicken
Steak, I ate too much chicken when I was on tour.
Beer or wine
Wine, very refined.
Football or cricket
Cricket, it’s also my son’s favourite sport.
Monarchy or Rebublic
Monarchy, I like the history of our nation.
Favourite football team
Least Favourite football team
I don’t really have one but I have never been too keen on Liverpool as they used to win everything when I was young; I guess it was in the days before I could really appreciate the brilliance of what they were achieving as a unit.
And finally, if the Dragon’s Den asked why they should invest in squash, what would you tell them
Challenging, Combative, Dynamic, Powerful, Fast and an undiscovered Hidden Gem that is hugely entertaining to watch in the modern era.