Squash ace AbdAllah Eissa reckons family connections can propel him to glory when the sport returns.

Warwick’s Eissa first picked up a racket at the age of just five, as father Ahmed ignited his passion for the sport that saw him crowned British Junior Under-13 Open champion in January last year.

And Ahmed still coaches his precocious son today, who also triumphed in the Dutch Junior Open and has impressed on the courts of the United States in a thrilling globetrotting tour.

AbdAllah’s sister, Mariam, is also a British and English Under-11 champion and with family bonds by his side, the 14-year-old says he has what it takes to reach the top.

“My Dad, who played squash to quite a high level himself, was the first to introduce me to the sport when I was about five,” said AbdAllah, who is financially supported by SportsAid's Backing The Best programme.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Eissa has enjoyed a thrilling rise on the court that saw him crowned British Junior Under-13 Open champion Eissa has enjoyed a thrilling rise on the court that saw him crowned British Junior Under-13 Open champion

“I started going on court with him and he still trains me up to this day, so I don’t think I ever would have got into squash had it not been for my Dad’s influence.

“The dynamic with my Dad works well – we’re really close and I can talk to him in detail about how I feel, so it’s a good relationship that we have and we understand each other really well.

“That close personal relationship that we share together definitely helps us coaching wise and my progress on the court.

“It can sometimes be difficult to strike the balance between squash and family life, as we do talk about squash a lot during family time, but my Mum, Manar, has also been very supportive.

“We do love squash but we can also switch off and relax, and if there’s a big tournament we usually all travel together, so it’s a full family effort.”

Eissa is a Year Nine student at Kenilworth School and currently trains at Stratford Squash Club, diligently balancing his sport and education as he hopes to study either veterinary or engineering at university.

It’s with a racket in hand where his true passion lies, however, targeting further junior glory before he makes the full step up to senior level.

But the young star is no stranger to duking it out with the men, reaching the semi-finals in the Warwickshire County Closed competition last year where he stunned some of the top names in the region.

And despite his current absence from the sport he adores, Eissa reckons those experiences can only benefit him as he targets World Championship nirvana in the future.

“Lockdown has been tough for me, because you need a lot of space for squash, and I’ve only been able to do fitness and physical stuff,” he added.

“It is difficult with no end goals in sight, and I’ve missed that thrill of competing – I really like both the social and competitive parts of tournaments, so I’ve missed it a lot.

“I’m confident that gaining that experience competing against men will definitely help well in the future, and I’d like to continue playing senior level squash as soon as I can.

“My ultimate squash ambition is to become world champion and world No.1 – and I want to do both as early as possible.”

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