PONTEFRACT Squash Club had a strong representation at the European Masters Championships at the 32-court Hasta La Vista Squash Club in Wroclaw, Poland, a country in which the game is developing rapidly.
Led by world champion Julie Field and world runner up Andrea Santamaria, Pontefract’s players also included Peter Field, Steve Green, former Featherstone Rovers RL forward Gary Siddall and Phil Wakefield.
Julie Field and Santamaria are main players at world and international masters level and Field added to her world title when she beat Karen Hume 3-2 in an all English final to give Pontefract a second European Championship in a week, following James Willstrop’s win in Nottingham.
Santamaria went close to reaching the final of the over 45 tournament
Seeded 3/4, she lost 3-2 to the number one seed and eventual champion Simone Korell (Germany).
Training at Pontefract’s Stuart Road club last week were two Swiss internationals Nadia Pfister and Marija Shpakova.
Those training at the club also included Millie Tomlinson, runner up in the European Championship, Tom Walsh from Brighton, who is England’s leading under 19 player, Canadian champion Hollie Naughton and England senior internationals James Willstrop, Chris Simpson and Patrick Rooney, as well as the club’s junior internationals Eliot Ridge and Sam Todd.
It was proof that Pontefract is the leading professional training centre in the country.
The club’s top juniors move into action this weekend when many of them will be playing in an England squash silver event in Manchester.
Todd, who is by far the country’s top junior prospect, and Ridge, who has been impressing in training, will be looking to make a serious impression.
Coaching for juniors, aged six and over is available every Saturday and Sunday morning throughout the year. For more details contact the club on 01977-793333.