Squash team cautiously optimistic of regaining Caribbean dominance
By Akeem Greene
In 2017, a 12-year stronghold on the Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior title ended for Guyana. Even more heart-breaking was the fact the reign came to a finish in Guyana.
The second-place finish followed them the next year in Jamaica, where they came inches to regaining the precious trophy, but Barbados again pipped ahead.
It is now ‘take three’ in the quest to return to the summit and there is enthusiasm bubbling, albeit reserved, that they could do the job in Trinidad and Tobago from July 14-20. The players and officials will depart Guyana on Friday (July 12).
“The team is pretty good, especially in the boys’ category; we have a couple of individuals who should definitely win their individual titles. For the girls it will be difficult competing against Barbados because overall their team has pretty strong depth. Other than Barbados we stand a pretty good chance,” Manager Garfield Wiltshire told News Room Sport on Wednesday.
The former champion player added, “We have a chance [ to win the overall title], I won’t say it is the best of chances because it will go down to how things go with the girls. I think we will probably win the boys team title and we will probably finish second in the boys and girls, so it will be dependent on how Barbados does.”
A major concern is the Under-19s, given the calibre of top-ranked Khamal Cumberbatch and Megan Best, both of whom are from Barbados.
Wiltshire indicated that while winning is important, they must be realistic since other teams have superior players and they can still aim to forge partnerships.
Daniel Islam, an overseas based player, is expected to take up the mantle in the Under-19 and could possibly be joined by Under-17 player Samuel Ince-Carvalhal.
With preparation most adequate, Wiltshire expects the team to give a good account of themselves.
Boys: Grant Fernandes, Mohryan Baksh, Louis Dasilva, Joshua Verwey, Shiloh Asregado, Michael Alphonso, Nicholas Verwey, Quinn Lilico, Shomari Wiltshire(captain), Samuel Ince-Carvalhal, Gianni Carpenter, Daniel Islam
Meanwhile, the Guyana Squash Association expressed immense gratitude to E-Networks, Bounty Farms Limited, MVP Sports located at Giftland Mall, Fatboy 100% Coconut Water, KFC and Innovations America, who assisted in offsetting expenses with regards to travel and uniforms.