England Name Strong Team For Men’s World Championship in Germany
Daryl Selby, the British National squash champion from Brentwood, will make his World Team Championship debut for England in this month’s championship, according to the squad announced today by England Squash & Racketball.
Nick Matthew, the world No1 from Sheffield, will spearhead England’s bid along with fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop,and Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, both from Essex.
The world team championship will take place in Paderborn, Germany, from 21-27 August.
With all four players in the world top 12, England have effectively named their strongest four-man squad to relinquish the world title from Egypt’s grasp.
This year’s event will mark Matthew and Willstrop’s fifth appearance, stretching back to 2003. Barker, the world No7, made his debut in 2007 and played a key role as England retained their trophy after beating rivals Australia in the final. Meanwhile world No12 Selby, who won the national title for the first time earlier this year, will be making his first appearance in the 32-team event.
In Odense two years ago, England were favourites to reach the final against eventual winners Egypt – but were hampered by the loss of Matthew to an ankle injury during the week before, finishing a disappointing fourth behind France and Australia.
England’s defeat two years ago represented only the third time that they had failed to make the podium since squash’s biennial event started in 1967.
However, much has happened since then. Matthew, 31, is now world No1 while England finished top of the medals table at theCommonwealth Games, strengthening their position as one of the most successful squads in British sport.
England national coach Chris Robertson, who will be leading the team for the first time in a world championship, said: “Winning is the main priority and anything less than that will be a disappointment. But that’s where you set the stall considering England have been so strong over the years.
“There are going to be disappointments in careers and I can imagine for the players in 2009 they will be looking to make amends.
“No one’s dwelling on fourth-place again. They are going to Paderborn to win and it’s about creating history.”
England’s 2011 World Team Championship squad:
Nick Matthew: Capped for England 77 times, the 31-year-old three-time British National champion from Sheffield has topped the world rankings throughout 2011 after a sensational 2010 run which included two gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and seven PSA World Tour titles, including the World Open in Saudi Arabia – where he became England’s first ever winner of the sport’s premier title
“The last World Team Championships proved a nightmare week for all of us and we all want to put that right in Paderborn. After happy memories in 2005 and 2007 it was a shock to the system to lose two years ago and shows we can’t take it for granted. We have an experienced squad and hopefully we can learn from that.”
James Willstrop: The most successful England junior of all-time, world No4 Willstrop made his senior England debut in 2003, since when he has won 80 caps. The 27-year-old from Leeds, winner of two British National titles, reached a career-high world No2 in December 2005 and went on to lead England to victory in the world team championships in Pakistan
“This is a big deal for us and last time was hugely disappointing considering it’s brought the best out of England in recent years. Our team ethic works well and it brings out the best in some of us. You are playing for the people who have supported and funded us throughout our career and there is added pressure to repay them.”
Peter Barker: The left-hander from London has been a solid member of the England line-up since 2005, with 65 caps to his credit. Born in Essex, 27-year-old Barker celebrated a career-high world No6 ranking in January last year and boasts 13 Tour titles..
“With our new coach Chris Robertson coming in, things have changed for the better. Everyone is on an even-footing in the team and the spirit is fantastic. The world teams means a lot as an England player and two years ago was hugely disappointing when we came fourth. We want to put that right this time.”
Daryl Selby: The newest England recruit, Selby made his international debut in 2009, since when he has won 20 caps. The 28-year-old from Brentwood in Essex celebrated his biggest success in the sport early this year when he beat hot favourite Nick Matthew in the British National Championship final to win the title for the first time.
“I am really honoured to have been selected for my debut. This is a big deal for me as I’ve never represented England before in the worlds. I’ve played in three Europeans but this time you play against the biggest players in the world. It’s a tough tournament. But with the team we have I am confident we can bring the title back to England.