County Champs - October 29th- Preview
The 3rd tournament of this nature and best entry to date takes place this Saturday. 8 counties compete including Middlesex, Surrey, Herts, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex. The depth and strength of the squads is easily the strongest we have had and includes several players ranked in the top 100 of the world rankings and top 30 of the domestic rankings.
Foster (H), Mckee (S), Stahl (M), Lesser (H), Garland (H) and Phillips (H) represent or captain 3 different counties this Saturday (Herts, Surrey and Middlesex).
On paper with great players like Jason Granville who travelled back three weeks ago from Vienna and returns to New Zealand in two weeks until April, Surrey have a great chance to qualify for the FIR Champions League 2012. We do need to consider in the future that 2 female players are needed now for the FIR tournament as there is also a mixed doubles, but this shouldn't be a problem with the event being in Redbridge next October (combined with the English Open). Entries are even open already on www.resultreporter.com! (as all 2012 events are....).
The other strongest team on paper is Middlesex, marshalled by Middlesex pioneer Dominique Ford, Stahl, Culshaw, Boreham and 2 of the most commonly mispelt racketlon surnames....here goes Jeremy Krzystyniak (ranked 107) and the returning Gemma Sgariglia (ranked 22 in the Ladies). Both rankings undervalue these great players and thank goodness for copy and paste as English Racketlon journalistic prowess and spelling would otherwise be called into question.
There are other dark horses like Essex, Oxfordshire and Herts and don't write off Cambridgeshire either, the unknown is always dangerous with many new players lining up with expert rackathlete Dianne Baker.
Ones to watch:
Middlesex 1st: Jeremy Krzystyniak (squash specialist with solid table tennis)
Middlesex 2nd: Fabien Mauroy (French table tennis supremo)
Surrey: Chris Mckee (solid allrounder for such a young man)
Herts: Abbie Lench (Herts secret weapon, perhaps not so much a secret after winning the British Mixed Doubles title last month)
Essex: Sarah Lochrie (good to see the Ex-England champion back in action)
Oxfordshire: Gary Jackson (good at everything with a slight weakness in squash)
Cambridgeshire: David Westmorland (returns after a tasty English Champs Class B victory a couple of years ago, strong at the middle 2).
Rest of Counties: Siraz Natha (the Lancashire Open organiser looks to drive racketlon forward in the North of England).