Tennis squad named for Gibraltar Island Games
TRIPLE Island Games gold medallist Stuart Parker will fly south to defend his titles this summer, following news of Team Jersey’s tennis selection for Gibraltar 2019.
The 21-year-old singles, doubles and team event champion has been named as part of an eight-strong squad for the latest edition of the biennial sporting festival, and will have Jersey-born American university graduate Jack Hodges, Games stalwart Jeremy Cross and Gotland 2017 doubles partner Mike Watkins for company from 6-12 July.
Natasha Forrest and Eva Hurst – doubles silver medallists in Gotland – return in the women’s squad, alongside fellow team bronze medallist Antonija Sokic, while Jersey 2015 doubles silver medallist Clare Clark is back after missing the last trip to Scandinavia.
Team coach Andrew Evans said: ‘I think we can do really well with two very strong teams.
‘We’ve got Stuart who will be looking to win everything again – he’s playing full-time in France at the moment and he’ll be backed up well with Mike Watkins. Jeremy will add his experience again and this time we’ve got Jack Hodges, who is currently coaching in the south of France.
‘It’s good to have a different face involved. Jack went to St Michael’s and then to school in the UK so he wasn’t on our radar in the juniors, but he thrived at an American university [Goucher College] and has really brought his game on.'
Evans added: ‘The women’s squad is similar to previous years but this time there has been more competition for places and we did play-offs for the squad, which raised their level.
‘They’ve always done well, but this time I feel we’ve got a good chance in every event.’
Cross, whose Island Games career began before five of his colleagues were born, is included for the ninth time and will be looking to add to the eight gold, seven silver and six bronze medals collected since Isle of Wight 1993.
Jersey topped the tennis medals table two years ago with three golds, one silver and one bronze.
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