Essex youngster Richie Fallows has been handed a dream draw in the first round of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix in Manchester next week.

The 19-year-old wildcard entry, who is ranked 97th in the world, takes on top seed and world no.2 Greg Gaultier, of France.

Fallows is one of six English players in the main draw so far for the $70,000 tournament at the National Squash Centre from December 5 to 8, although there are four spaces left open to qualifiers.

Yorkshire’s Nick Matthew, winner of the Grand Prix in 2006 and 2012, will begin his campaign for a third GP crown against one of them.

The third seed said: “Manchester is the home of squash in England and the English players all have a lot of experience playing in the city with national squads, so we will have no excuse not to be on top of our game.

“My wife has also pencilled in to bring our new arrival along to the event, which will be the first time she’s seen her dad play and will be a nice moment for us, so I’m definitely looking forward to the competition.”

Two English players will be in opposition in round one, with fifth seed Peter Barker (Essex) taking on Yorkshire-based Chris Simpson, while sixth seedy Daryl Selby, also from Essex, faces France’s Mathieu Castagnet and Hertfordshire’s Adrian Waller meets fourth-seeded Spaniard Borja Golan.

Matthew is seeded to meet the winner of the Selby-Castagnet encounter in the quarter-finals.