Welsh guests give rise to Jersey team’s boast

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The festival – sponsored by the Sigma Group – provides Jersey’s players with a rare opportunity to pit themselves against club and professional stars from all over the UK.

Division 1 of the festival has been dominated by Horsham in recent years and they always arrive with a star studded team – their first team last year comprised five UK professional, world-ranked, players and this year will be headed by current Scottish international, Neil Frankland.

Jersey’s new director of squash and former world No 3, David Evans, leads Jersey’s first team and he has recruited two of his Welsh national squad team mates, Gavin Jones and Nick Burt, Jersey’s own Mike Hopkins – a former top 30 UK PSA pro – plus multiple CI champion Rob Hickling, Guy Tupper and Ian Furness to give the Island side its strongest line-up ever.

Champion While Evans has now retired from a very successful career as a touring professional, including British Open champion in 2000, he is still ranked No 2 in Wales and playing in the National League representing Manchester Pontefract.

Gavin Jones is currently ranked 44 in the world, is Welsh No 3 and has made no fewer than three PSA finals this season.

Nick Burt, still only 23, is Welsh No 5 and current professional at the Cardiff Squash Club.

Star player While the Division I title is expected to be between Horsham and Jersey, there will be fierce competition from the likes of Dave Stanton’s squad, the Royal Navy, the Old Salfordians and Guernsey, particularly if their star player, Chris Simpson, is available.

Meanwhile the other three divisions feature teams from all over the UK.

The action starts from 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon at all the Island’s squash venues – Jersey Squash Club, Les Quennevais, Fort Regent, Victoria College and St John’s Recreation Centre.

All teams then play two matches on Saturday with the Divisions I and IV finals on Sunday from 9.45 am at the Squash Club and Divisions II and III at Fort Regent followed by the presentations at JSC.

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