New Zealand World Juniors Team Confirmed16 Jun 2022
A group of 12 New Zealand junior players with a distinct youthful look have been selected to compete in the 2022 WSF World Junior Squash Championship, 11-21 August, Nancy, France.
It is the first time in three years a junior team has travelled after Covid-19 issues have disrupted tournaments.
It is the boys year for the teams event, with the girls the following year.
The boys team has a number of players with experience in PSA tournaments from the New Zealand circuit with Joe Smythe from Bay of Plenty at No 1 and current NZ Junior champion. Paul Moran becomes the first player from the South Island since 2017 with the Marlborough player selected after some strong recent performances.
Mason Smales is one of two Henderson players in the team, with the tall left-hander having spent time overseas training in the United Kingdom with some of the world’s best as well as competing in the US Open Juniors.
The second player from the Henderson Squash Club in Auckland is Apa Fatialofa.
There are also two players competing as individuals in Oliver Dunbar (Wellington) the team reserve and Tom Marshall from Marlborough.
The six girls playing as individuals are junior champion, Sophie Hodges from the Waikato as well as Auckland left-hander Ella Lash who have both had experience at World Junior Champs in the past and competed in the NZ Junior final with Hodges winning in five games.
They are joined by Hawkes Bay’s Jena Gregory, Wellington’s Maiden-Lee Coe, Anne Leakey (Auckland) and Anabel Romero from Palmerston North.
“It’s great that the World Juniors is on again and that such a youthful and talented group of players have been selected. They will not only learn a lot, but we know there will be some good results as well,” said Squash NZ High Performance Manager, Shelley Kitchen.
Two former professional international players will coach the girls with Emma Millar and Tamsyn Leevey taking charge. Coaches for the boys are Manu Yam and Nic Dann.
Junior boys team:
Joe Smythe (BOP)
Mason Smales (Auckland)
Paul Moran (Canterbury)
Apa Fatialofa (Auckland)
Team reserve and individual competition:
Oliver Dunbar (Wellington)
Tom Marshall (Canterbury)
Manu Yam (Auckland) - lead coach
Nic Dann (Canterbury) – assistant coach/manager
Girls individual competitors:
Sophie Hodges (Waikato)
Ella Lash (Auckland)
Jena Gregory (Eastern)
Maiden-Lee Coe (Wellington)
Anne Leakey (Auckland)
Anabel Romero (Central)
Emma Millar (Waikato) – lead coach
Tamsyn Leevey (Central) – assistant coach/manager