BIG INTERVIEW : 11 Points with Daryl Selby

England’s Daryl Selby will be competing in his 15th consecutive Canary Wharf Classic when he takes on Joel Makin on Sunday, and if he wins that he’ll have a 10th quarter-final appearance in his sights …



1: Daryl, welcome back to Canary Wharf. Looking at things from the inside, what are your thoughts on the strength and quality of this year’s entry list?

Unbelievable entry list! Fantastic to see a lot of the very top players playing this year and the fans are in for a treat…

2: Facing Joel Makin in the first round is a pretty tough draw. When did you last play him?

Joel is getting stronger and improving all the time. Got to know him better in the last year and he’s a dedicated and committed professional who will be in the top 10 very soon. I’ve lost to him the last few times but best of 3 should give me a better chance!

3: You recently promised to wear eye protection at all PSA tournaments following an injury in the National Championships. Are you training on court with them as well?

Absolutely, it’s my personal choice to wear them from now on and if I can encourage other players to protect their eyes then great.

4: What responses have you had from other PSA members following your campaign to discuss the issue?

Mostly positive to be honest. Obviously a lot of the pros would definitely not want to wear them as they consider the risks to be so small and currently find they cause too much of a disadvantage in terms of sweat and vision. If these issues could be solved then we might have more of a chance with everyone.

5: You mentioned that Nick Matthew, your dad Paul and Wimbledon’s Phil Rushworth had all been hit in the eye while coaching. Your dad suffered a torn retina, and Phil a detached retina. I guess that shows how serious injuries can happen in the most innocuous of situations?

Spot on, can happen even when coaching. Even my situation was extremely random and unlucky.

6: Back to the PSA World Tour. Apart from a large number of other Egyptians storming up the rankings, who do you see coming through to challenge their domination at the top of the men’s game? And which young English players should squash fans be looking out for?

That’s a tough one, I don’t see them losing a team championship in any format for quite a while! In terms of individuals, Diego Elias I think has the potential to challenge the very top guys.

Mostafa Asal looks a hell of a prospect in the men’s and Hania El Hammamy in the women’s for me, both are future world number ones but both Egyptian!

We have a lot of potential top English players to look out for, a few I can think of right now that I’ve seen play would be Sam Todd, Nick Wall, Alice Green, Torrie Malik and Emma Bartley

7: You were captain of the England squad (with James Willstrop, Adrian Waller and Declan James) who finished runners-up to Egypt in the final of the World Team Championship in Washington in December. How did you enjoy that whole experience?

Loved every minute of it, apart from losing in the final where we got extremely close to causing a massive upset.

We are an exceptionally strong team unit and was proud of the way the whole team performed, especially the perfomances by Declan and Adrian in the semis and final.

As Jimbo said, it was inspiring to watch them perform that way in such a high pressure situation.

8: As a Liverpool fan, you must be extremely pleased at the way they are dominating the Premier League this season in much the same way that the Egyptians are dominating the squash rankings. It’s impossible not to notice the Egyptian influence of Mo Salah at Anfield as well.

Extremely! As a fan of 34 years, it’s been a long time coming! We have the best manager in the world and an amazing squad of players right now. Salah has been phenomenal since he’s joined.

9: Are your own children showing a preference for squash or football? Any fights on the touchline yet with angry parents shouting at the kids?

No fights yet, I’m actually fairly laid back compared with other parents! At the moment Noah my oldest who is 7 is playing some good football and squash. Harrison is only 4 but he will get stuck in to anything I put in front of him.

Isla is only 2 but I have a feeling with two older brothers she may have a chance of being good at something. I just want to give them the chance to play as many sports a possible whilst they are young and see what they enjoy.

10: You seem to be enjoying life combining your tournament play with running your Dynamic 7 management company. How is the business coming along?

Enjoying it yes. Is it easy, no. Starting your own business from scratch is not easy but I’m hoping to make a success of it.

I have some great athletes to work with and once I stop playing squash full time (very soon) then I will be able to throw the kitchen sink at Dynamic 7.

11: Finally, inevitably, on to that dreaded question we discussed over lunch a while back. How long are you going to put your body through this brutal ordeal of competing at the highest level? People often say “Listen to your body”. What’s your body telling you right now?

Body is good. Mind is hanging on, I’m a competitive so and so when I get on court though so will always give 100% to beat whoever I’m up against.

I’m desperate to get stuck into some other challenges, though mentally I want to see how far I can push myself …

Thanks Daryl, and good luck on Sunday.