Could Edinburgh win a medal at the European Team Squash Championships, which open today in Helsinki?
The tournament is for countries, so it’s a moot point, but no city will have a more prominent role in Finland than Auld Reekie.
The Scottish men’s squad, bronze medallists in Warsaw last May, includes Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban, Doug Kempsell, Kevin Moran and Rory Stewart, who all train at Heriot-Watt University. The women’s team is in Division Two after winning Division Three last year, and capital players Elspeth Young and 16-year-old Scottish champion Georgia Adderley will ensure that it too has a distinct Edinburgh flavour.
“The team has been together for a long time,” explained Kempsell.
“We are a close-knit squad who train together at the Oriam Performance Centre in Edinburgh and socialise away from the court.
“The Europeans is always a great event and one of my main goals of the year. We managed to win a bronze medal last time after finishing fourth on a number of occasions before that. Hopefully we can medal again in Helsinki.”
The third-seeded Scottish men face hosts Finland in their opening Pool B match this afternoon, while the women take on Switzerland at lunchtime and Ireland this evening.
“The first match is a big one,” predicted Clyne. “You have to be on your guard in every match and it could be a close one.
“Our old rivals Germany are in a tough group with defending champions England, but we’re just concentrating on our own group and making sure we get through to Friday’s semi-finals. I’m injury-free, I’ve been playing some good squash this year and I feel confident we can match what we’ve done before.”