The England squads for the Czech Junior & Cadet Open in Hodonin from 15-19 February have been announced with a number of new faces from the Portugal Youth Open that was held in December.
The event in the Czech Republic will feature singles, doubles and team competitions with England looking for more titles following the successful trip to the Algarve in Portugal.
Leading the hunt will be Cadet winner Tin-Tin Ho and quarter-finalist Helshan Weerasinghe, who Junior Coach Nick Jarvis thinks has: ‘the calibre to win tournaments’.
Also in form is Lewis Gray who followed up his Junior quarter-final appearance in Portugal by winning the East Midland’s 4* last weekend – in the same tournament where Tin-Tin Ho and new squad member Danny Lawrence also returned victorious.
New members of the squad (from those who competed in Portugal) include senior star Emily Bates alongside Tressa Armitage and Vicky Smith in a completely re-formed Junior Girls team while Lois Peake joins Tin-Tin Ho in the Cadet Girls.
If playing for their country, the titles and prestige were not enough – there is also a US$8,000 prize-money pot on offer for the youngsters.
Last year there were no English entries as the respective singles titles went to: Tamas Lakatos (Junior Boys), Bernadette Szocs (Junior Girls), Alexandre Cassin (Cadet Boys) and Ekaterina Guseva (Cadet Girls). Meanwhile, the Team titles went to: France (Junior Boys), Russia (Junior Girls), Slovakia (Cadet Boys) and Russia (Cadet Girls).
Can the English players break into these big guns and pick up more success on an international stage?
Full squad details below:
Junior Boys: Sam Walker, Igor Morais and Lewis Gray
Junior Girls: Emily Bates, Tressa Armitage and Vicky Smith
Cadet Boys: Helshan Weerasinghe and Daniel Lawrence
Cadet Girls: Tin-Tin Ho and Lois Peake
Coaches: Nick Jarvis, Paul Whiting, Craig Bryant and Helen Lower.