Essex unveiled its first ever junior Development Squad on Sunday when a dozen new faces went on court with county coaches in a tough two-hour training session at Connaught Squash Club in Chingford.

The Essex Junior Squash committee staged open trials days earlier in the summer in the hope of identifying emerging talent previously unseen by the county set-up. And those sessions led to last Sunday’s inaugural Development coaching day.

“We committed three of our top coaches to the day, and I think it’s safe to say that the session went down a storm with the players and the watching parents,” said Essex Junior Squash chairman David Harris, who also attended the event. “Essex already has a strong county team set-up but it’s vitally important that we maintain the search for new talent. I think Sunday’s coaching day was hugely encouraging for everyone looking at the level of commitment and talent on show.”

Twelve players from across the county were put through their paces by coaches Paul Selby, Dave Webster and Vignas Gunasegaran in the first of a series of training days that mirror those by the full county squad. 

“Identifying players at a young age and instilling sound technique and a sense of structure to their game really pays dividends,” said Paul Selby. “Sunday’s group were incredibly receptive to the coaches and hopefully they all enjoyed the experience. I know I did.”

Feedback from the youngsters and parents was certainly positive which the most common question: When is the next training day?

Sunday’s squad, resplendent in their new red county T-shirts, was: Alfie Breeze, Lily Crabb, Adrian Dibattista, Christian Harris, Oliver Harris, Manuela Horscroft, Ross Jordan, Zain Mughal, Rosie Mortimer, William Sanders, Nel Smith, Luke Woolridge.