INTERVIEW WITH AMR SHABANA
The Egyptian team is a real success story having three girls being ranked 1, 2 and 3 in the world.
Well, it’s a great pleasure to work with them because they all have coaching staff and they know what they are doing and all I’m doing is helping them manage their career and make them avoid all the mistakes I might have made myself when I was a player.
Has your experience as a player helped you to be a coach ?
The thing is I’m not really their coach. I’m basically a technical advisor, a director, a friend and a manager so basically I help them manage their career not necessarily on the court. If they need training programmes, they’re dealing with injuries or contracts that’s where I step in and I let their coaches do the coaching. I travel with them for 6 tournaments every year. I travel with them to the majors and then the coaches back home do the work.
What do you think about playing against France on home ground ?
It’s going to be very tricky today. The French have a good team and they just came off yesterday with their biggest result by reaching the semi-final for the first time so there’s no pressure on them. Hopefully, the load and pressure will be divided by the whole team. They’re all champions. They’re used to it.
What about all the young Egyptian players coming through ? You have some excellent Juniors and lots of children playing squash. What’s the recipe ?
I mean there’s no secret. The power shifts every decade or so. First, you had Pakistan, then England and Australia. Now it’s Egypt’s turn. The players see each other every week. They play in local tournaments and leagues. They’re just training all the time. The players don’t dream about being number 1. They dream about beating the world number 1. It’s a different mentality which makes it a bit easier.