Ince believes Regional monarchs could reign even longer
By Rawle Welch
National Coach of 12-time Junior Caribbean Overall Squash Champions Guyana Carl Ince speaking with this newspaper shortly after the conclusion of a celebratory ceremony hosted at Herdmanston House by Digicel for the national team that recently returned from Jamaica said he believes that even though this year was tougher that previous years it could be the beginning of another long reign by the regional monarchs.
Ince, who has been at the helm of all those title winning teams during his 14 years as the national Coach including eight consecutive crowns stated that once the Guyana Squash Association (GSA) in collaboration with the players and supporting cast stick to the motto of ‘Dedication, Maximum Effort and Best Performance’ he sees no reason why Guyana cannot continue its dominance at the junior level in the Region.
He said even though Guyana lost five of its top players this year in Kayla and Keisha Jeffrey, Ashley Khalil, Deje Dias and Alexander Arjoon, a development he alluded to that never occurred previously, they were still able to retain the overall title despite being seeded #2 behind Bermuda who Ince conceded was very strong in the individual categories.
Guyana won two titles through Mary Fung-A-Fat, who was playing in her final year at the junior level and Nyron Joseph in his first year in the Under-17 Division.
“Normally we cope with the loss of three players’ maximum going out, but to have to deal with as many as five, you could see right away the difficulty we faced and coupled with the fact that we had a few players suffering injuries we were right up against the wall, but the players showed great grit and determination and pulled through the adversities,” Ince told this newspaper.
Ince referred to them as among the best players in the Caribbean who Guyana depended on in difficult situations to pull through and in every instance they delivered and to lose them all at one time had to be a fresh state of affairs for the Coach.
Asked to highlight some of the outstanding performers, Ince though understandably reluctant pointed to Fung-A-Fat, Joseph, Shomari Wiltshire and Ashley DeGroot, while Benjamin Mekdeci, Steven Xavier and Jason Ray Khalil, all produced courageous performances.
Fung-A-Fat and Joseph’s performances were above par according to the Coach and even though the former will be moving on to the senior level, he said he still expect her to maintain her level of play.
Joseph on the other hand Ince mentioned is an especially talented player and it showed in his first year at the U-17 level where he achieved a tremendous feat in winning the division on his first try.
He disclosed that not many players are able to move up a category and win the title on the first occasion, but it was a result of his natural talent that he was able to do so. Asked to compare the current Guyana team with the other countries in the Caribbean, Ince informed the other territories are getting stronger, but still felt that this country is still ahead of the rest.
Ince ushered praise on all the players and expressed confidence that Guyana will be much stronger come next year when the tournament is held in Trinidad and Tobago.
In closing, he extended thanks to all the assistant Coaches such as Tiffany Solomon, Dias, and Arjoon for their support which he added made his job much easier, while the parents who not only came to assist their children, but were also willing to do the same for the other players as well.
David Fernandes, who Ince referred to as the Chief Motivator, also came in for commendation and the entire GSA executive along with the sponsors.