ESF European Team Championships - quotes of the week

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ESF European Team Championships - quotes of the week

We round up the best player quotes from a dramatic and memorable week at Europe's elite team squash competition in Uster, Switzerland. 

"I'm European champion and getting married in two months' time - life is pretty good!"

- Nele Gilis, who beat Gina Kennedy to set Belgium on the path to European glory and is marrying Commonwealth Games champion Paul Coll this summer

"We've been wanting this for so, so long. We were so close last year and I was the one who lost the deciding match. The defeat was one of the hardest to get over - worse than losing in a PSA event. It motivated me to push even harder this year." 

- Tinne Gilis, whose win over Jasmine Hutton sealed Belgium's historic triumph

"I'm so buzzing. I love this country - they have done so much for me, so it's the least I can do to repay them. I messaged each one of my team-mates this morning and said, 'Let's fight for each other.' I can't feel my body - I don't know how many minutes I've played this week. But, honestly, I wasn't going to lose today, that's for sure."

- Marwan ElShorbagy, whose dramatic victory over Baptiste Masotti clinched the ESF European Team Championship title for England

"I'm learning so much [being part of the England squad]. All the things you do mentally on and off court, how to prepare yourself emotionally and having Nick [Matthew] talk to you between games and Mo and Marwan there watching. It's pretty surreal, because I grew up watching these legends of the game, and now they're on your side and supporting you!"

- Curtis Malik on playing in only his second European Team Championships with England

"I learnt a ton on the mental side, having explored the whole spectrum of emotions this week from calmness to aggressiveness. I realized that an emotion is fundamentally neither good nor bad. It's rather what you do with it - its effect on your performance - that will make it a positive or negative one."

- France's Victor Crouin on a mixed week of results, including a straight-games defeat to Mohamed ElShorbagy in the men's final

"Obviously the coaches have the final say but it's a group discussion between us all and we all decide who we think will be best for the match-ups. We always have to assume they are going to put their best order out and based on that, that's how we prepare."

- England's Gina Kennedy on the 'poker game' of team selection for big matches

"Obviously last year was very disappointing getting relegated. I was watching it from home and everybody around Scottish squash was disappointed with the results. It was really important to get back to where we belong and hopefully next year we'll be challenging for medals."

- Scotland debutant Martin Ross on returning to men's Division 2 for 2025

"It's very important to be back in Division 1. We didn't want to say it at the beginning of the tournament but this was definitely our goal. We were so happy yesterday that we knew we'd reached our goal by getting to the final, but winning today was the second most important thing."

- Germany's Saskia Beinhard on returning to European squash's top tier for 2025 and beating Finland in the women's Division 2 final

"That's probably the best performance I've ever put together. It was a great atmosphere. I love playing for the Swiss national team especially at home."

- Dimitri Steinmann after Pool victory over Victor Crouin in a red-hot atmosphere at the Uster Squash Arena

"For me, Mohamed is the best of all time. I've never beaten him before. At last, I can say I beat him at least once! I just went for my shots. I could see my team-mate was leading on the side court so I pushed very hard for the team."

- Spain's Iker Pajares on his surprise victory over England's Mohamed ElShorbagy in the pool stage

"I was buzzing after the wedding. I was so happy off court that I didn't care about my squash results! It took me a while to find the right balance again. I'm building a nice life, so to be here is just extra fun and I am thriving in the team environment."

- Tesni Murphy on returning to squash and representing Wales after a long injury break - and her wedding

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