We asked 5 questions to Joey Barrington (ENG) - Iconic commentator of Squash TV, former world number 24, son of the legend of squash, Jonah Barrington (IRL) :
1. Joey, you comment all the huge events of the PSA World Tour, you came to Nantes last year, what did you think of the event ?
When i came to Nantes last year i was completely blown away. The organisation and set up was worthy of a world series event. I have never seen a light show and opening to the days play like i saw at Nantes. I feel tournaments wanting to progress should take note and watch last years opening show to the match days.
I also loved the fact that the crowds were full from the first match and people were queuing an hour early to get a decent seat for the matches. I remember along with my co commentator Simon Parsh, being swept up by a sea of people rushing to get their seats. It was reminiscent of the tournaments in the 80s when squash was at its full height.
The people involved with the organisation were lovely too. The squash tv boys work their socks off at events and they were looked after on a 5 star basis with respect and appreciation. That was refreshing and good to see.
2. You have been a former professional player (note : ex world N°24). Do you take as much pleasure in commenting as in playing ?
I got into squash as pro very late relative to my fellow pros. So i had to play catch with my training and experience of tournament play at the highest level. I loved the physicality of the sport but i did get quite nervous playing in tournaments. I think the next best thing to competing is sitting there watching and analysing it. I have never really had nerves when it comes to commentating and presenting so perhaps i have finally found my niche.
I love taking the sport forward with the developing Tv coverage and i like to bring a humour with a professional and analytical view to the game. I also enjoy the rapport i have with my fellow co commentators.
3. Squash has terribly evolved in recent years, how to stop the Egyptians on the international circuit ?
The Egyptians are going through a real boom they have taken the womens game to new heights and upped the intensity and the level.
They offer a huge amount of variety and styles of play which are mostly attacking and fantastic to watch. They come through at very young age on both tours.
The Europeans need to respond and i really hope they do as the world tour needs to be as international as possible for the game to continue to progress. Once the older generation of Nick Mathew,Greg Gaultier and Willstrop finish. There is a bit of a void.
I just hope the younger players of the other countries are hungry enough to see how you can make a fantastic living out of squash and take on the Egyptians.
4. In your opinion, what should be done to include squash in the Olympic Games ?
Squash ticks all the boxes for an Olympic sport and more. I just don't think this was presented well enough in the past.
We have terrific TV coverage now and extenstive viewing figures world wide. I feel the PSA should be put in charge of any future presentation as they are the shop window of the sport and have been solely responsible for its progression.
5. To finish, your father was a squash player, you were a squash player and what about your future children ?
My father is the Legend of the sport. I was never pushed or forced to play it. I enjoyed team sports more growing up but then i caught the squash bug halfway through my University life. It has been an amazing journey that has taken me all around the world. I hope my son plays but that will have to be his choice. Whatever he does with his life i will be eternally proud, i love being a dad! He is named after his Grandfather so we shall see.