Pool D:  Australia,  Netherlands, [13/18] Finland, [19/22] USA
we’ve mentioned already Australia is the most successful country
ever at producing men’s squash teams. They are the current trophy
holders and go into the event with a real chance of defending their title
with a team consisting of; Palmer the former world #1 and the most consistent
player on the tour at the moment; Ricketts the current British Open Champion;
Boswell former world #4; and hell-of-a-nice-guy-Kneipp who used to be
ranked 10 but is getting a little tired of winning squash games at the
moment thank you very much so he’s giving losing a try. Even with
Kneipp having the lowest ranking he had had in three years and Boswell
not yet back in his top five spot the average of the team’s ranking
is 13. Not as impressive as England’s average of 7, but it’ll
make for a very interesting encounter.
Hang on. We’re going into this tournament without Palmer
due to his disqualification. Palmer, the bloke who has been the Aussie
number one since about when the new millennium began. Palmer, the bloke
who just finished second in the World Open, Qatar Classic and US Open.
I’ve been thinking about this and I’d say it’s going
to make it harder for us to win without Palmer. Yep that’s the
kind of hard-hitting inside-the-pro-tour insight we’re delivering.
so Palmer is serving the last part of his ban from the World Squash
Federation and isn’t with us and that’s a shame, but we can
still win this tournament and naturally that’s what we’re
here to do. Boswell’s return from injury has been very well timed
and Cameron Pilley sneaks into the fourth position over Dan Jenson.
Australia should have a reasonably comfortable passage through to pool
Which brings us to a similar situation to the Pools A,B and C. One team
well out in front, and the real action in the pools coming from the second
Finland & the USA
The Netherlands has played in 11 of the previous 19 World Team Championships,
had their best result in 1991 coming 6th, and finished 11th in Vienna.
They have three new players in 2005.
Finland has participated 12 times, came 3rd as the host country in 1991
and had their worst performance ever last year, finishing 25th out of
The have one new player with them this year.
USA has only missed three events, had its best result in the early 80s
with single figure placings, and came 20th at the 2003 event. Team USA
arrive with Illingworth, Gordon and River to replace Walker, Crombie
second place in this pool should have been a formality for the Netherlands.
If Tommy Berden wasn’t injured and Lucas Buit didn’t miss
his cheese too much to leave Holland (okay so he’s sick of travelling
and has a young family), then the Netherlands would dawdle past Finland
and USA, and could even pose a threat to Australia. Tommy had a last
minute bizarre thumb injury and Lucas really does like his Dutch cheese,
so the pool turns into a tight three horse race. The Netherlands and
Finland have a head start on the US with Anjema and Tuominen at one,
but Finland’s strength drops off very quickly. Holland’s
Dylan Bennett can play better than his ranking of 70 suggests, but his
movement up the ranking list has been surprising slow and stagnant for
a player that was European U19 Champion a couple of years back.
The US should have too much depth for Finland, but will probably stumble
against the Netherlands.
The Low Countries
Laurens Jan Anjema
if you would like to discuss our columns or introduce questions
or comments, please email us at email@example.com.
We will post the good comments and question here on our SquashTalk
column together with our responses. We hope to get a good dialogue