With Jason Davies featuring in this week’s ‘Spotlight’ section we decided to make it a Davies’ family double as Bill Carne chats to sons Joseph (15) and George (10) about their play on the squash courts at The Meads Leisure Centre, Milford Haven . . .

Joseph and George Davies are both keen sports lovers from Milford Haven but are already doing particularly well in squash as they follow their father Jason into the game, with 15 year old Joseph already playing in The Meads Squash Club’s ‘C‘ team that is doing well in the local squash league’s second division, whilst George (10) is ranked in the top ten in his age group for Wales.

Both have every encouragement from Jason and their mum Fiona, whom the men in the family are trying to coax into joining them on the squash court but is an excellent chauffeur for the boys to training and further afield to tournaments.

Joseph made his start as he went to watch dad play in the Neyland team that is doing quite well in the first division – and as soon as George was old enough he was on the court as well and both took to it quickly and were gaining in confidence as they attended coaching sessions by Peter Crook.

Both have a natural competitive streak and one shared ambition is to beat Jason but neither has succeeded yet. “But who knows …?” Says dad with a chuckle!

Joseph is a regular in the Meads Squash Club ‘C’ team that takes on adults in the second division, one of five who are in third place despite being all under 16 in age, and sure to push for promotion during the next campaign.

They play teams from as far afield as Newcastle Emlyn, Pembroke and Cardigan and he is improving all the time as he is ever-ready to play – and winning the majority of his matches against older players.

“He is very fit,” Peter told us, “but he needs to work hard at gripping the racquet properly and not allowing more experienced opponents to get him a little rattled. Both will come in time!

He attended his first tournament ‘up the line’ recently as part of the experience he now needs outside the local game and did well in the under 17s section at Swansea Squash Club as he won one and lost two of his round-robin matches in another part of his learning curve.

“He met some of the best young players in South Wales,” said Jason, “so it is great as part of his learning curve – and will teach him not to be overawed by opponents because he is a very able player in his own right.”

It is also good to report that Joseph is already putting something back into squash because on Sundays he often helps Jason with the young members of the squad, and could well take up an official coaching role in the future, something that Mr Crook certainly approves of!

George has already attended a handful of ranking tournaments around South Wales and has done well enough to be ranked in Wales – and to have his racquets and some equipment sponsored by the Harrow Squash and Tennis Racquet suppliers.

“Since George didn’t play tennis previously,” Jason said, “he has a very good grip on the squash racquet, which is so important, and for such a young player has excellent positioning on court.

“He needs to gain a little in confidence but there is no way that we will push him too quickly in the foreseeable future because we want both our boys to enjoy their squash, above all else.”

Outside of their main sport, they also have other interests, with Joseph playing football as a left back with the Milford United juniors coached by Dai Howes.

“I’ve been there since the team started and we weren’t very good when we started,” admitted Joseph, “but we are all good friends and just enjoy taking part.

“In the season just finished we were about fourth from the bottom, which is going in the right direction,” Joseph told us with a chuckle!

George attends St Francis School in Milford Haven as a year six pupil and he enjoys football there – and he has another very important role there because he is a Sports Ambassador under the auspices of Sport Pembrokeshire, the sports arm of Pembrokeshire County Council.

In his role he tries to encourage others in school who is not as happy taking part as he is by trying a whole range of activities, and it’s a fair bet that he is doing a good job with his infectious enthusiasm.

His main sporting love is his squash and he plays as often as he can – and wouldn’t dream of missing the Sunday afternoon sessions where Jason helps with the coaching.

“He soaks up tips from Peter because I try to keep him out of my group because I know it is never easy listening to the ‘old man’” admitted Jason.

We asked Peter Crook, the doyen of Pembrokeshire coaches, what he thought of the Davies boys and he told us,

“Joseph is already playing regularly in our ‘C’ team and showing real commitment to his squash. He is already ranked 12th in Wales – a position he will soon improve on once he regularly attends tournaments ‘up the line’.

“George is only ten years old but is already ranked in the Welsh top ten for his age group and has the talent to do really well. His next stage in his development is to keep practising hard and developing his shot selection – and then he will also play for the ‘C’ team when he’s a little older and has grown a bit in size.

“Both are really nice lads and their attitude is a tribute to the way they have been brought up by Jason and especially Fiona!”

We can only echo those sentiments, particularly about the parental contribution to their squash development, and especially to Fiona for making sure that Joseph and George are such level-headed, committed and pleasant young fellers!