PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal spent last weekend in Jersey for an exhibition night organised by former Manchester legend Nick Taylor who now coaches there.
The Pontefract pair go this weekend to Birmingham for another exhibition, this time to set in motion the World Masters Championships for age groups from over 35 to over 70.
Feature of the occasion will be a dinner for some of the sport’s most illustrious names.
Currently enjoying his sixth month as the world number one, Willstrop’s competitive season will begin in September when he will play for Mulhouse (France) in the European Club Championships in Prague and the PSA event, the British Grand Prix in Manchester.
Prior to that he will play in the Cleethorpes Invitation, a tournament he has supported for many years and which he has won five times.
Ghosal has also been invited as he looks forward to a season which should see him advance up the world rankings.
Pontefract’s Jack Cooper is now in Australia as his school Featherstone St Wilfrid’s High embarks on a sporting tour of that country.
Cooper won the British under 15 title in 2011 and will be looking forward to strong competitive action there.
One of the places he will visit is Perth, hometown of former world number two Dean Williams who worked with Pontefract coach Malcolm Willstrop in Norfolk and Sheffield.
The Lesley Willstrop Memorial doubles will be played on September 27 to 29. There will be men’s, women’s, mixed and junior events and the proceeds will be in aid of Jaiden Worrall who lives locally and is seriously ill.
On finals night a team of rugby league names will take on Pontefract’s women players.
Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith, Wakefield Wildcats coach Richard Agar and Hull FC captain Andy Lynch have already promised to be part of the action. Pontefract’s Yorkshire League teams for the forthcoming season will be strengthened by the return of Indian number three Harinder Pal Sandhu and the arrival of a leading Japanese player Shinn who plays on the PSA World tour.
With Sam Wileman,Tamindar Gata- Aura, now playing full time, Alex Hodgetts and Jack Cooper in support and the club’s top professionals available from time to time the Premier League team should be in a position to challenge for the title.
Promising youngsters Eliot Ridge,12, and Sam Todd, nine, are likely to be given opportunities in the fourth team.
Ridge has made dramatic improvement and Todd, the outstanding prospect in the country, will cope with senior opposition, not least because of his athleticism.
The club’s National League team will be led by James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal and its prospects of success depend on the availability of its leading players.