UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

England Team Selections

Following the 14th FIR World Singles Racketlon Championships, we look forward to more World Championship activity, specifically the Team & Doubles tournament which is being held in Poznan, Poland as part of the brand new opening of a sports centre. This has been especially brokered by Marcel Weigl (FIR President).

Poznan is an excellent setting for such an event.

Many debutants are listed below (counting no less than 18 players who will win their first caps) and the squad is now finalised with no further selections for the teams. Although note the doubles event is open and anyone can enter.

Exciting additions to the junior squad include Leon Griffiths and Piers Boden going for gold in U16's as well as Katie Birt and Hannah Boden in the U21's who takeover from Lucy Burks and Sarah Jane Perry before that. They join the other more experienced juniors with Alexander Oliver in his final year.

A further quite potent selection is that of Graham Norton following an upsurge of recent form taking the Richard Lawrence Open Over 50's title and Graham being one of the longest serving members of the racketlon community participating in the 2003 World Championships in Gothenburg as an Over 45 player. He is joined in the vets by multiple world champs podium finisher Neil Rayner. Neil took Over 50's silver and Over 55's bronze in the recent World Champs at Surrey Sports Park in August. Duncan Marlow wins his second selection following representation in the O45's team that won bronze in 2010 and Nigel D'Arcy returns as the only continuing member in the O55's squad looking to retain the gold won in Holland last year. Bruce Shepherd also wins his first cap.

Middleton, Gupta, Kneller and Capper are joined by new blood Harvey & Whale and again go forward to try and retain gold.

The new look B squad will be lead by former junior bronze medal winner Luke Barnes and boosted by 2012/2013 Elite player Jeremy Krzystyniak. Debuts from Oxland, Ridout and Shelley complete the set.

The selection process was conducted by a sub committee with major contributions from Duncan Stahl, Richard Middleton and Ray Jordan with some additional input from Keith Lesser.

Ranking and results formed the primary selection criteria.

The squad is fairly strong missing only a small handful of names, however the England Team being sent out is strong and comprehensive and has a feel good factor following the world champs.

Notable absentees Jermaine Manners and Isabelle Tyrrell will hopefully be included in future squads. Izzy is currently recovering from injury.

This is the largest ever delegation sent to a World Team Championship by any racketlon country globally and shows that the UK really are at the forefront of the game. No less than 7 squads will compete for medals which is a new record.

English Racketlon is buzzing! Good luck to all players in this weekend's Finnish & Midlands Open.

Read an exert of the full announcement below from overall captain Duncan Stahl. Further correspondance and details have been sent out regarding team kit, some of which is below and being organised through iPro Sports.

We are also entering an “Invitation Team” into the “Amateur Team Event” (alongside our B Team), made up of people that are being recognised by English Racketlon for various contributions to the sport in this country: volunteering, long-term supporters of the UK Tour amongst other things. Full list of all 34 players across all teams is listed below – I’m fairly confident England will be bringing a bigger contingent of players than any other country which is a great effort.

It’s important we use that numerical advantage as much as possible by all trying to support as many of the England matches (whether in the team events or in the doubles). It makes a big difference and you’ll notice quite a few of the other country’s support tend to be quite loud!

Please note that it is only compulsory for team members to buy a Men’s Sports Shirt (for the men!), a Ladies Sports Vest (for the ladies!) OR a Ladies Sports Shirt (for the ladies!) – (I have refused Luke Barnes’ passionate request to wear a Ladies vest). These shirts/vests to be worn for England Team matches.

All the other kit is purely optional. You also have the option to have your surname printed on the kit, which costs an extra £3 per garment. All is very clear on the order form.

What should also be clear is that any questions at all to do with the kit: sizing, delivery, payment etc (anything at all!) can be dealt with by Andy at iPro Sports. Andy has given all his contact details on the order form, including a direct tel number. So please fire all your questions at him and not me!

You will be sending your completed order form to Andy at iPro Sports (not to me!), you will be paying Andy directly (not me!) and you will be getting your orders delivered straight to you (not to me!). There’s a theme here.

However, what is very important is that we need you all to send your completed order forms to Andy (all details on how to do that in the attached) no later than 20thOctober (otherwise you risk not receiving your kit in time). You have 10 days! Please be prompt and don’t make us have to chase you!

Finally, please do make every effort to play in the final UK Tour event before the World Champs: the Herts Open on Sunday 2nd November – a great venue and always a good tournament. We’re expecting to see many of the faces listed below!

England Elite:

Ray Jordan

Jason Granville

James Simpson

Duncan Stahl

Dawn Foxhall

England B:

Luke Barnes

Jeremy Krzystyniak

David Ridout

Oliver Oxland

Jo Shelley

England Vets:

Richard Middleton

Rakesh Gupta

Steve Kneller

Simon Whale

Ed Harvey

Barbara Capper

Nigel D’Arcy

Bruce Shepherd

Graham Norton

Neil Rayner

Duncan Marlow

England Juniors:

Josh Kashdan-Brown

Alistair Prades

Leon Griffiths

Alex Oliver

Katie Birt

Hannah Boden

Piers Boden

England Invitation:

James Watkins

Will Coley

Andy Griffiths

Simon Iron

James Pope

Katie Barclay