At Cayman’s recent national junior squash championships one enthusiastic participant stood out for praise in the mind of coach Dean Watson even though he only came seventh out of 24 last month.
Josh Myren is 14 and if he continues to improve as dramatically as he has done in the few months since taking up squash seriously, then he’s got a bright future.
The newcomer is an ever present at the club in South Sound and a dream pupil for Watson who selected him above all the champions for this interview.
‘The fact that Josh had never played in a tournament before and previously he was losing to most of the players, so for him to finish in seventh place out of 24 is a great feat. I’ve only seen him in the last three or four months whereas everyone else has been playing a couple of years.
‘The time it’s taken him to go from a beginner to the intermediates and beating the majority of them, as well as his continuing enthusiasm, is incredible. He’s playing every day and he just wants to always come down and move forward.
‘He’s a big boy for his age and hits the ball well and sets himself up superbly. He gets a very good shot out of it. That usually creams off the rest of the boys who are a little bit smaller and can’t quite handle the pace.’
Josh’s dad played squash for years, which might explain the fast improvement. ‘It’s already there, isn’t it?’ laughed Watson who sees him developing even faster if he can devote a little more time alone to tweak Myren’s technique. The boy wonder has tried other sports but is solely interested in squash now. Watson is always battling with other technical directors for the sole attention of his star pupils so when he heard that he enthused: ‘That’s good for me. Oh I like that! The more of those I can get the better.’
Myren attends Cayman Prep and High. Before discovering squash he did a little tennis, sailing, skateboarding and rugby. ‘I played tennis and then tried squash but wasn’t very good at it. So I went back to tennis but preferred squash. In sailing I passed the course and I didn’t play much rugby because my friends didn’t go. My parents think it’s good that I got into squash.
‘Dean has helped me learn how to return the hard shots that I was never able to hit. He’s very helpful. I like squash because it is simple and you have to work hard. A lot of my friends come here too, including Cameron and Courtney Stafford, Nick Cameron and Austin and Spencer Moore. I play every day if I can and want to go as far as I can in the sport, but I haven’t set any goals for myself yet.’
He doesn’t subscribe to the fact that his size helps. ‘Being bigger and stronger doesn’t really matter. Control and power is most important. Size means nothing.’ In his case it certainly helps.