Eissa named among Britain’s brightest sporting prospects

AbdAllah Eissa has had a year worth celebrating.
AbdAllah Eissa has had a year worth celebrating.

Kenilworth teenager AbdAllah Eissa has been shortlisted for the SportsAid One-to-Watch award.

The annual award was launched in 2006 and looks to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects.

Previous victors, including Tom Daley, Hollie Arnold MBE and Courtney Tulloch, have already amassed 42 senior medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games, World and European Championships, as well as Commonwealth Games.

On the back of a year which has seen him win the British Junior Open Boys’ Championships at under-13 level and team golds at the Five Nations Team and European Team Championships at under-15 level, Eissa joins nine other rising stars on the shortlist.

The Kenilworth School student’s younger sister Mariam is also a British champion and AbdAllah says they have inherited their love for squash from their father Ahmed, a former semi-professional player himself.

“I got into the sport because of my dad,” said AbdAllah.

“He used to play when he was younger and when I was five I started going on court with him.

“He’s now my main coach and he trains me every day.

“We have the father and son relationship so it’s good to discuss things with him.

“There are quite a lot of positives with it; he knows me best.

“It’s still competitive when we play but now I beat him most of the time!

“Long-term I would like to be world number one and win the World Championships.

“When I was nine or ten, I realised I was quite good and had a chance of becoming a champion.

“But between Under-13s and Under-15s the physicality of the game jumps up another level.

“The older I get, the more demanding the game will get. When I play older players, I need to be able to keep up with them.”

The winner will be announced at the charity’s Celebrate the Next event at Sea Containers House in London on Tuesday November 19.