Cam Pilley ready for slog on the Tyne
By DONNA HELMER
The Premier Squash League (PSL) returns for the 2018-19 season bolstered by the addition of two new teams and a revised format.
Joining the PSL this season are Squash Wales and Newcastle University / Northumberland Club, in addition to the 10 teams who contested the competition last season.
Squash Wales have announced a provisional squad including British National champion Tesni Evans and Welsh National champion Peter Creed. The governing body will use the event as a development platform to transition players into the arena of competitive and international squash.
Squash Wales High Performance Coach, David Evans said: “It’s superb to have top-level squash back in Wales after so long being out of the league. It will be superb for our players to compete against other world-ranked opponents in front of a vocal home crowd.”
Squash Wales Director of Coaching, Mike Workman said: “After the recent success of our senior players at a series of prestigious international events, the time is right to expose a greater number of Welsh players to this higher standard. With the current resurgence in both playing and spectator participation, it is our job to generate increased publicity and coverage for Welsh squash – at home and further afield.”
Newcastle University-Northumberland Club, a joint venture between the two venues, will make their debut against Nottingham on 25th September.
Team Manager Liam Gutcher said: “Newcastle University is delighted to be partnering with the Northumberland Club in bringing squash of the highest level regularly to such a thriving squash community. There is a huge appetite for professional squash in the area and we are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project that will inspire the talent of tomorrow and firmly place Newcastle on the squash map.
“The chance for our students to represent the team and compete at this level isn’t something many universities can offer, adding to an already well-established and supportive squash programme for young players.”
Ross Graham, Team Manager for the Northumberland Club said: “This is a significant step forwards for the club and one which we are pleased to be doing with our partners Newcastle University. The aim of bringing top level sport to the North East has always been at the forefront of our plans, which through the support from long term sponsors VW Lookers, we can now make a reality. Juniors and adults from around the UK will be able to purchase season tickets as well as match day tickets to come watch some of the best in the game right on their doorstep.”
Australian Cameron Pilley, the hardest hitter in the world of squash, is understood to have agreed to play for Newcastle in the coming season.
Split into north and south divisions, 12 teams from across the UK will complete 10 league rounds consisting of four men and one woman, where for the first time, each tie will be played as best-of-three.
The respective winner and runner-up of the north and south divisions will qualify for the semi-finals played over a weekend at a single venue.
England Squash CEO Keir Worth said: “The Premier Squash League provides a great showcase for our sport and the welcome addition of Squash Wales and Newcastle University / Northumberland Club coupled with the revised format will make the event even more competitive.”
PSL Fixtures 2018-19 season
Provisional First Half Schedule
Wales vs Coolhurst (Wales)
St .George’s Hill vs. Tradition @ RAC (St .George’s Hill)
Bexley vs. Chichester (Bexley)
Tradition @ RAC vs Wales (RAC)
Chichester vs St .George’s Hill (Chichester)
Coolhurst vs. Bexley (Coolhurst)
Wales vs Chichester (Wales)
Tradition @ RAC vs. Coolhurst (RAC)
St .George’s Hill vs. Bexley (St .George’s Hill)
Wales vs St .George’s Hill (Wales)
Tradition @ RAC vs. Bexley (RAC)
Coolhurst vs. Chichester (Coolhurst)
Bexley vs Wales (Bexley)
Chichester vs Tradition @ RAC (Chichester)
St .George’s Hill vs Coolhurst (St .George’s Hill)
Article by DONNAL HELMER (England Squash). Edited by ALAN THATCHER
Pictures from Squash Mad archive