Former champions Chapel Allerton return to the Premier Squash League (PSL) next week when the 29th season of the world’s most prestigious squash league, supported by Dunlop, gets underway on Tuesday (2 October).
The Leeds club, champions in 2009, boost to 12 the number of clubs competing in the 2012/13 season, led by Croydon-based Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets, winners of the title for a record fourth time last season.
Chapel Allerton will be managed by Yorkshireman Simon Parke, the former world No3 who is the club’s Performance Coach. Parke, who will be competing in his third decade in the PSL, has twice led teams to success in the league –Nottingham in 1999 and Essex club Lexden in 2002.
“We’re delighted to be competing in this world class event again and look forward to being able to give members and visitors the chance to see the best players and matches at our club,” said Parke
“I have been able to recruit some top players for the team,” added the 1998 British National champion. “Some are new faces, like the German number one Simon Rosner and Malaysians Ong Beng Hee and Low Wee Wern, but after a year out we have some of the stalwarts from past campaigns playing for us again including South African Shaun le Roux and English players Jenny Duncalf, Chris Simpson and Carrie Ramsey.”
Chapel Allerton begin their PSL campaign in Group A away from home at Benz-Bavarian Duffield, the Derbyshire club they beat in the 2009 final. Their first home match will be in the second round on 16 October, when they entertain Parke’s former club Nottingham.
Duffield, champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007, will again be led by England’s world No2 Nick Matthew – and will welcome new recruit Laura Massaro, the British champion from Preston who is ranked three in the world.
The standout tie on the opening night is likely to be the Group B clash between title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets and TWP St George’s Hill – the two Surrey clubs that contested last season’s final. Weybridge-based St George’s Hill will be hoping that home advantage will enable them to repeat their win over the champions early last season.
Surrey Health will again be led by Londoners Peter Barker and Alison Waters, ranked seven and nine in the world, respectively, while St George’s will be led by England international Daryl Selby, the world No11 from Essex.
Chapel Allerton’s Yorkshire neighbours Pontefract will also be in action in the new season – again led by James Willstrop, the world No1. Former world number one Vanessa Atkinson, now the club’s club assistant coach, will also be in the squad, as will the top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal.
1st round fixtures:
Nottingham v University of Birmingham
Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Chapel Allerton
Oxford v Pontefract
UWE Bristol v Exeter Diamonds
Team Chichester v IGT Winchester
TWP St George’s Hill v Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets
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