The world’s most prestigious squash league celebrates its 30th season when the 2013/14 season of the Premier Squash League (PSL), supported by Dunlop, gets underway next week – with Coolhurst London making its debut to provide London interest in the PSL for the first time in over a decade.
Based in Crouch End in north London, Coolhurst boasts world-class squash facilities including seven squash courts – four of which were added in 2012 and are convertible for international doubles play.
The historic 110-year-old club has attracted a strong PSL squad, led by German number one Simon Rosner, the world No12; top-ranked Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, a former world No7; 13-times Irish champion Madeline Perry, the world No9; and rising Caribbean star Nicolette Fernandes, the world No19 from Guyana. In addition are up-and-coming English stars Ben Coleman and Adam Auckland.
“As Coolhurst looks to evolve into a Centre of Excellence for squash in London by 2015, the integration of a PSL Team into the Club’s wider programme provides an inspirational opportunity for our juniors and seniors to see the game played at the very highest level on a regular basis,” said team manager Nick Sutcliffe.
“Our participation in the PSL will significantly enrich the squash landscape across Greater London,” added the former Yorkshire & England junior and Cambridge Blue.
England Squash & Racketball Head of Competitions and Events Chris Nutley added: “I am delighted that Coolhurst Squash Club have agreed to join the league and have been able to assemble a competitive squad. Coolhurst have an excellent set up and with the aid of ESR capital investment were able to deliver four new courts in 2012.
“The enthusiasm and commitment to the Premier Squash League shown by the club over recent weeks has been fantastic and I believe that they will be an excellent addition to the league. With all team squads now confirmed, we can look forward to another exciting season of PSL and I wish all teams an enjoyable and successful season.”
In the first round on Tuesday (22 October), Coolhurst make their debut away from home in Group A at Air-IT Nottingham, the 1999 champions. Also in Group A, Derbyshire club and three-time champions Benz-Bavarian Duffieldextend their longevity record to 21 successive seasons in the PSL by hosting Yorkshire club AJP Pontefract.
Both sides boast players with long commitments to their squads: Sheffield’s world No4 Nick Matthew is celebrating his 11th successive season for Duffield – while former world No1 Lee Beachill is marking his 12th in a row for Pontefract, and is returning to the club for which he made his PSL debut as a 17-year-old in the 1994/95 season!
Chapel Allerton, the 2009 champions from Leeds, begin their latest campaign at University of Birmingham, where the Yorkshire team will unveil their new number one Daryl Selby. The world No14 from Essex will make his club debut against Birmingham’s Cameron Pilley, the world No13 from Australia.
Title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets begin the new season in Group B with an away fixture atUWE/Elitesquash Bristol. Winners of a record fifth PSL title earlier this year – and an unprecedented fourth in a row – the Croydon club will again be led by Londoner Peter Barker, the world No7.
Elsewhere in Group B, twice runners-up Luxfords St George’s Hill host Exeter Diamonds, while Team Chichester entertain south coast rivals Winchester, the 1995 champions.