Squash: Barrington joins the Dutch: English legend switches his allegiance

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The Independent Online
JONAH BARRINGTON announced yesterday he was plotting England's downfall. The former world No 1, whose role as national director of excellence was ended by the Squash Rackets Association in December, has accepted an offer of a three-month contract with the Netherlands and will help them prepare for the European championships in Den Bosch in April.

This will pit the squash legend, who coached England to the world bronze medal six weeks ago, against Peter Marshall and Simon Parke, players whose development he has guided. They were part of the bronze-medal team and both reached the quarter-finals of the British National Championships at Welwyn Garden City yesterday.

Marshall, all sinewy movement and steely concentration, conceded only eight points in a 44-minute match with Darren Webb, who is ranked in the world's top 30. Parke, by contrast, lost concentration in the third game, but with his strong legs and deft drop shot, he came through in a quarter of an hour longer against Tim Garner, a qualifier from Sussex, 9-2, 9-0, 5-9, 9-2.

Barrington was watching, but not in an official capacity. Indeed he rounded on the SRA, which is sponsoring these championships but employing him only for 20 days in the next five months. 'It's misleading to say they have given me a contract till May,' Barrington alleged. 'I shall have little contact with the leading players or with motivating them, which is what I am best at.'