Glasgow 2014: Staying power is key to Clyne hopes

Alan Clyne will compete at Scotstoun
Alan Clyne will compete at Scotstoun
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Edinburgh-based Alan Clyne will go into Commonwealth Games squash action with a genuine chance of a singles medal, national coach Roger Flynn believes.

Flynn said: “Alan beat the world No.5, Borja Golan from Spain, at the recent European Team Championships in Italy and that lit the fuse for a competition in which we finished fourth for the third year running.

“Alan is seeded ninth in singles and, along with every other member of our team, is capable of knocking over any opponent on the day.”

Squash events extend over 11 days at Scotstoun and Aussie Flynn is aware that stamina and staying power will be vital.

“It’s a question of being able to reproduce day in, day out,” he added, “but, in Alan’s case, anybody who plays him will not be expected to do particularly well the following day because you have to invest so much to get the better of him. Alan just keeps going and going. His fitness and speed should be a real asset.”

Clyne and partner Harry Leitch are seeded fourth in men’s doubles as they seek to improve on just missing out on a bronze medal in India four years ago, while Stuart Crawford and Greg Lobban are also seeded.

Flynn adds: “For Greg Lobban to reach the top eight in singles would be sensational, but his development does augur well for the Gold Coast in four years time.

“In Jersey, in May, Greg managed to beat the world No.30 and is seeded 16th.

“We are definitely looking to medal in doubles and, while Alan and Harry Leitch are our top pair, they did lose to Greg and Stuart in the latest Scottish Championship.

“Harry was in Melbourne and Delhi and that experience will be useful. On top of that, he is free to totally commit having just passed final medical exams.

“In the mixed, Alan and Frania Gillen-Buchert can be real dark horses having beaten some of the best in the world over the past 12 months.”

South African-reared Gillen-Buchert has pledged to medal for her Scottish-born father, who is terminally ill with cancer in Cape Town.

Flynn said: “It has been a hard season for our players, but we reckon to having the balance right in terms of rest and preparation, both physical and mental.

“With the men’s and women’s world No.1s in action – Nick Matthew of England and Malaysia’s Nicol David – this will be a really high standard.

“Some have said they might prefer to medal at a multi-sports event like the Commonwealth Games rather than the World Championship, although the British Open retains a special cachet.”

The men’s team also includes Kevin Moran, who plays for the Grange club in Edinburgh and did well at the recent Loch Ness Challenger event in Inverness.

Completing the women’s line-up is Edinburgh-born doubles specialist Alexandra Clark, who has flown in from her base in the USA.