ElShorbagy: 'History will count for nothing in Zurich'

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ElShorbagy: 'History will count for nothing in Zurich'

Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy say it will be a "special moment" to line up together for England at the ESF European Team Championships but insist "the team is all that matters."

On 1-4 May in Zurich, the brothers will compete alongside each other with the red cross on their chest for only the second time, bidding to extend England's extraordinary domination of the event which has seen them win 43 out of the 48 titles.

But Mohamed - former world champion, world no.1 and legend of the game - says "history will count for nothing" when they step on court at Uster's Squash Arena and that "it doesn't matter about individual awards or a player's form, the only thing that matters is the team."

The 33-year-old told us: "Me and my brother have experienced many things together. We played at the Men's World Teams [in December] but this will be our first Europeans side-by-side and it's a very different event because the men and women are playing together.

"Normally on tour each one of us thinks selfishly as individuals, which is normal, but in Zurich we will put the team first and the time together is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives."

Mohamed was part of the England team that beat France 3-1 in last year's men's European Team Championships final in Helsinki, overcoming Victor Crouin in a five-game epic. He is aware of England's long hegemony in the event, but says his team must cast it from their minds in Zurich.

"It's great to celebrate our record but that domination counts for nothing when you step on court," he says. "It's an equal field and we must focus on this championship, not the last 50 years. I need to make sure we forget the past and focus on this event."

Mohamed switched his nationality from Egypt to England in June 2022, having attended the famous Millfield School in Glastonbury aged 14 and lived in Bristol, south-west England ever since. Just over a year later, his younger brother Marwan changed allegiance to England as well.

World no.9 Marwan said: "The England support team of physios and coaches has helped massively since I joined. Whenever I ask for anything, it's always there. I've had a great time. It's a completely different culture and mindset."

A significant recent change in the England camp has been the departure of head coach David Campion after 23 years. Although a permanent successor is yet to be appointed, three-time world champion Nick Matthew is stepping in to lead the team at the European Team Championships.

"I was a little bit angry that Camps left, because I felt like I was just getting started," admits Marwan. "We had a really good time at the World Teams but I respect his decision. I have always enjoyed working with Nick and I look forward to the next phase with England Squash."

Mohamed also paid tribute to the "unbelievable" job done by Campion at England Squash but is also looking forward to working closely with Matthew, with whom he had many fierce on-court battles during their time as rival on the PSA World Tour.

"Having Nick Matthew sitting outside the court adds huge value to our team," said Mohamed. "The team is going to learn so much from having a presence like him. Nick's mentality as a player was unique. We have someone with us as a coach who is one of the greats of the game."

Since joining the England camp almost two years ago, Mohamed has played an informal role as mentor to the younger players, sharing his vast knowledge as one of the most experienced and successful players ever to play the game.

"I'm learning from these guys as much as they're learning from me," he says modestly. "It's not a one-way thing. My team-mates have shown the utmost professional attitude so far and I'm giving them the same. That's why we won the Euros last year and hopefully we do the same this year."

Follow live streaming of the ESF European Team Championships from 1-4 May on our YouTube channel and Eurovision Sport, plus groups, schedule and results here.


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