Squash title for Yusuf
Bancroft's Removes' (year 8) pupil Yusuf has secured top spot at the Boys’ U13 British Junior Squash Championship. The Essex player says, “It was a dream come true for me to be the new British Junior Squash champion.” The tournament, which took place from 26-28 November at Nottingham University’s David Ross Sports Village, is a Gold Level Sanctioned Event which is aimed at the best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Yusuf said that he went into the final against Abd-Allah Eissa with trepidation. “Historically head to head Abd-Allah has had the better of me: he had won three out of four of our previous meetings. He had a huge psychological advantage over me.
The venue for the final was the main all glass show-court at Nottingham in front of a full house crowd. The final was played as the best of 5 games to 11 and each game had to be won by 2 clear points. The first game was long and very close, ending 12/14 to Abd-Allah. The Birmingham based player demonstrated some great squash and Yusuf ended up losing the second game 5-11. Frustrated by some of the decisions made by the official referee, Yusuf confesses that he lost his focus on the game. He was determined that he was going to give it his best shot. He had great support from the crowd and coach, Dave Webster, motivated him and advised him to change his game plan. A combination of grit and determination meant that Yusuf went on to win the next 3 games 11/7, 11/5 and 11/5, to take the title. Yusuf described the moment, “
The relief and joy I felt at the end of final point was something I had never felt before in life. To say the least I was jubilant! It was a thrilling game in front of a packed noisy crowed.”Yusuf
Yusuf, currently ranked No. 1 in England Boys U13 and No. 4 Boys U15, started playing squash at Chingford’s Connaught Club; where he still trains. He has recently been awarded the RTF scholarship and free membership at London’s prestigious Queens Club in Hammersmith and this year will be playing for the club in their senior team.
(photos courtesy of Peter Hatter