Victoria’s finest squash players will descend on Shepparton on Sunday for the Goulburn Valley Junior Age tournament.
An annual event, the tournament is crucial for the sport’s rising stars as they seek to work up the Victorian rankings, and forms part of the Victorian Grand Prix Junior Squash Tournament Circuit.
GV Squash and Racquetball Club president Christian Lecompte said the tournament, held at his club, would be a fantastic spectacle.
‘‘There’s about six of these events each year, and the current count of competitors is about 40 juniors,’’ he said.
‘‘They’re coming from all over the place — Melbourne, regional Victoria and NSW and kids from Shepparton too.’’
Among the local squash stars will be Ben Ratcliffe, fresh from a fantastic win at last weekend’s Tasmanian Junior Open Tournament.
Ratcliffe ran the table in the under-19 age group, going four from four to win the Gold level event on the Australian Junior Squash circuit.
With a handful of other locals to compete, Lecompte said the round-robin event would feature plenty of action.
‘‘It’s age and capability graded so there’s plenty of action, and it runs from 9am to about 4pm,’’ he said.
‘‘Each player will play four matches, and the points they win count for their individual rankings heading into the state championships.
‘‘The standard is quite high — it’s Victoria’s most talented juniors, they’re all trying to make the state squad.
‘‘There’s some really good young kids, ranging from early teens to under-23s. It’s a broad group and there’s a fair bit of competition.’’