The Cayman Junior Squash team has high hopes of doing well at the Caribbean championships in British Virgin Islands from Sunday.
Full of confidence and thoroughly prepared, the side left on Wednesday for Tortola led by Dean Watson, club manager and youth development manager. Eight boys and three girls are in BVI until the end of the month and will compete in age categories from Under-13 to Under-17.
Watson expects to see Alain Mudeen and Samantha Higgins to do well in the U-17s. Mudeen is a former Cayman national junior champ and both girls have been in brilliant form this season. Watson also feels Jake Kelly can excel in the U-17s. Another he singled out for praise was Cameron Stafford, 15. Watson said: ‘Cameron has made a huge improvement in the last two years since he started taking squash seriously. I think this team can do well because last year we came sixth and that was without a girl’s team. They are so good that at least a couple of them have the potential to be professionals.’
Watson should know, he was a top player in England for five years and got as high as No.80 in the world rankings. He has been in charge at the island’s main squash club in South Sound for four years and seen significant changes. He is grateful to Butterfield Bank, the club’s chief sponsors. ‘Our facility now has air conditioning which has helped enormously. We have a great program here and it shows. The kids come down here even when they don’t have to.
‘We’ve managed through our sponsors to get hotel accommodation instead of staying with families this time. That is a significant improvement because we’ll be better prepared now. We’re making everything right for them and will have no excuses if things don’t go right.’