England Squash & Racketball caught up with England international, Adrian Waller, on the back of his first international cap at the England Summer Camp this week.
What made you first pick up a racket and start playing squash?
I started playing at about 7 or 8 years old. My dad and my older brothers all played so when I got to a certain age they took me down to the local club to play. It was very much about joining in with the clan!
Is there a particular coach or person that inspired you as a junior?
The top squash players in the world when I was growing up were Peter Nicol and Jonathan Power. I definitely looked up to them as a junior and aspired to be like them.
The other big influence has been my current coach, Paul Carter. He’s coached me since I was about 17 and when I started to get really serious about squash he’s always been there to spur me on to improve.
What did you love most about the sport growing up?
As a junior I used to love the social aspect of it. Travelling around the country and meeting new people, making friends, whilst playing tournaments really appealed to me growing up. I also really loved the competitive nature of the sport.
I wouldn’t say that’s too different now! Obviously there’s a lot more competitiveness, but I enjoy the other side of things – the travelling, the going away. It’s quite a nice lifestyle!
At what point did you think that you could make a career out of squash?
I was probably about 17 when I did think I could actually do it. I spoke to Paul Carter and he gave me the confidence to follow through with it and push on.
It was at that time, when you get a bit older, that decisions were being made at school. Building up to when I started full time at 18 or 19, I had a year or two at school knowing I wanted to make a career out of the sport.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the upcoming season?
The main aim is to make the Top 20 in the world. I’m 29 in the world at the moment, so it’s just under a dozen places in the rankings to make up.
Ideally I’d like to beat some of the Top 10 players in the world too, but Top 20 would be a nice goal to reach.