JOSH Magee and his playing partner Paul Reynolds, along with Irish team-mate, Nhat Nguyen, will spend the month of November training in Denmark.
The trio used the Solrød club, where former Ireland international Scott Evans is now based, as a base after the Denmark Open and before they travelled to Germany to compete in the Saarlorlux Open and having impressed the coaches there, they were invited back for a month of all expenses paid training.
The offer was one the Raphoe man was unable to turn down as it will give him and his doubles partner Reynolds some much sought after court time against some of the best players in the world.
“The coach at Solrød was very happy with how we trained and he thought we were very good for sparring with his players in the club, so he said we could come back and he’d pay for the costs,” explained Josh, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Tuesday.
“For us, it’s great because everyone here is our level or above, so when you train with better players you can only get better. I think that is what helped our performance in Germany. Although it was only for one week, I think it helped us stay really sharp.
“The goal is to take what we learn here into next year. The way we are looking at it is, there’s no harm in staying here to see what happens. If we go better after this, it’s better and if we don’t, there’s nothing lost.”
As Josh pointed out, their brief initial stay in Solrød seems to have helped his and Paul’s performances in Germany where they reached the last-16 in the men’s doubles. Josh’s cousin, Rachael Darragh, also reached the same stage in the women’s singles and did likewise in the mixed doubles alongside Reynolds.
In the end, Josh and Paul lost 21-19, 22-20 to Dutch pair Ruben Jille and Ties Van Der Lecq, having previously ousted Danish duo Emil Lauritzen and Mads Muurholm 21-19, 21-18. Rachael, meanwhile, defeated Czech player Katerina Tomalova 21-11, 6-21, 21-14, before succumbing to Spain’s Beatriz Corrales 21-18, 27-25 in an epic contest.
Rachael and Paul, meanwhile, defeated Poland’s Wiktor Trecki and Dominika Kwasnik 18-21, 21-13, 21-11 before losing to another Polish duo, Przemyslaw Szdlowski and Wiktoria Adamek 21-14, 21-16.
“We had a good win the first day against the Danish but the second day was tough because we were so close to winning in both the sets but unfortunately it was a narrow loss in both – 21-19 and 22-20,” Josh observed.
“I was coaching Rachael in her singles at the back of her court after I lost my doubles and I think that was the best I’ve seen her play, especially against a top opponent from Spain.”
FULL STORY IN LAST THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE
Posted: 1:21 pm November 10, 2020