WHEN THE MARINE
AND FLASH WHITE CAME TO ST GEORGE'S...
Chatting with John
Chatting with Dave
Beautiful day it was on that Tuesday 19th December 2012,
at St George's, when I was lucky enough to catch up
with my old mates, David Palmer, who retired at the
end of the Worlds in Rotterdam exactlya year ago, and
John White, how head coach at Drexel University - host
of the U.S. Open for the past two years.
A lot of laughs I can tell you. A few gallons of tea for me
too. And between the good memories, and the few off the
record stories, I managed to extract two little
conversations that you may enjoy reading....
Doing an interview
with John is about as easy as taking a quote from Ramy
Ashour at the end of his matches. You've got to have your
pen sharpened, your brain into gear, and being French I
promise you doesn't make it easy. You sort of catch one word
every ten, and try to make it make sense on the page...
Such a character bless him, great sense of humour, but a
strong mind as well behind the jokes. Gosh I miss him.
Do you miss the Tour John?
I miss the travelling, seeing my friends, but not the
training every day, the playing every day. Itís nice to
actually get to go back home every day, have a routine,
waking up, taking the kids to school - well, actually, the
kids catch the bus to school we don't take them, going to
work on a 5am train to Philly each day for 6am training at
Drexel, doing something I love doing, having a day to day
Still, itís good to get away once in a while, and the
Legends is such a great opportunity for us to get back where
we used to live and train. Still, when Iím away, I quickly
Where are you off now?
Dave and I are on our way first to Devon and Exeter,
where we used to play for years. I remember us driving three
four hours from Nottingham, but we didnít mind, as they so
love squash up there, we had really great times.
Then we are off to Aberdeen for another set of
Legends, it will be nice to see Derek [Ryan] and Dave
Thatís one thing you take for granted when you are on the
tour. You get to see your mates all the time, you just donít
think about it. But then you retire, and itís taking a lot
of planning, sometimes a year in advance, to manage to see
You have a few friends now in the US
Yes, nowadays itís amazing the number of great players we
have at 2, 3 hours from Philly, like Palmer, Walker Ė Ali
and Chris, Wael, Thierry, Power in Toronto, Shabana who is
often in NY, and a few young American players like
is the family?
Suzie is now studying for a BSN (bachelors degree in Nursing),
much easier now the kids are older. They are doing their own
things, they entertain themselves.
Everything is fine, my older son will soon go to high school,
and Iíll be in jail for shooting the first boy that takes my
Squash is blooming in the US colleges, now the aim would be
to get it more accessible to allÖ
With Dave, it's easy, he
speaks slowly - he realised a long time ago he was
talking to a natural blond. One of the cleverest players on
the Tour, extremely well educated and with a broad view of
Along with John and Thierry, truly the players I always felt the
most comfortable with. I guess the fact all three of them
are happily married with kids had a lot to do with it...
And with the three of them now in the US, I may move there
So what are you doing
these days in Orlando
Iím coaching two families, Chloe who is 14, who is top three
in her age group, and a brother and sister, 14/16 years old
who started playing two years ago, and are improving quickly.
Iíve also started my small academy, Iím training Miguel
[Rodriguez] and Mathew [Karwalski], and recently Steve
Coppinger just joined us for a few weeks, along with Max Lee
and Leo Au.
Plus I have a good contact with Craig from South Africa, and
Iím going out there to train a few juniors. Not to forget my
summer camps in Greenwich Westchester, plus Iím
still heavily involved with Black Knight and Hi-Tec shoes.
You seem happy...
Well, itís the perfect combination, I train with juniors and
young pros, around 25 to 50 in the world. Which is the age I
started to work with Shawn [Moxham], and Iím trying to make a
difference and do for them what Shawn did for me, to try and
take them to the top 20Ö
Kayla is 6, Miley is 3, all is good, and Iím hoping Mel
might get involved with my two sponsors on the marketing
side of things.
Let's talk about PST then...
Fram, you've got to understand that PST is not in
competition with PSA. Itís just a way for people like Wael
or myself to earn a living, a second job, a second way to
keep on doing my job as a squash player.
So, what's it all about then?
We really try and make it work, by taking squash competition
to clubs that never heard of squash! And the US are so big,
there are so many clubs, there is space for both PSA and PST
I still have trouble about the no let/stroke rule..
Well, we are not trying to say that everybody should adopt
that no let/stroke system. But maybe, if a few of the tour
refs were to come and see the way we are doing it, maybe it
would help them on the tour, as nobody wants to see matches
with 60, 70 letsÖ
How does it work?
PST format is smaller than PSA, normally 8 players, and the
ranking is really not a priority, the idea is to make sure
that we are selected for our Play-Offs in Detroit Athletic
Club, where Michael Joint, an Aussie, signed a three years
contract with PST.
Will you be back on the International scene?
Iím contemplating playing for Australia for the World
Teams in Mulhouse, France, next year, and also maybe
playing doubles in the next Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,
but thatís two years away.
Iím really grateful to Tim and Peter for the Legends format,
it allows us to play great players again, like Peter or John,
and I guess that Thierry is soon to be the next additionÖ