'FATHER Christmas is coming to Northern Squash Club 11 days early this year . . . delivering a glittering array of talent in the 2017 Gosforth Classic.
This year’s tournament is undoubtedly the highest standard closed satellite ever to be held at the club.
Leading a long list of talent is top seed Joe Green of Watford. The world No 114 is already a PSA World Tour title winner at the age of 22.
The Watford-based left-hander has been as high as 105 in the rankings, and came third in the British Under 23 Open Championships in January this year. Joe has reached the semi-finals of two $10,000 events, and recorded a career highlight when he lifted the $5000 Barbados Open in July 2016. Known for his speed and lung-busting athleticism on court, Green has also won a Parkrun event with an eye-watering time of 17:25 for the 5K event.
Second on the list is late entrant 32-year-old Mark Fuller. Mark is one of the best Racketball players in the UK and the older brother of previous Newcastle Northern Cup winner Chris Fuller. He is the higher ranked of the two currently at 147 in the world with a career high of 118. He is from Norwich and currently lives and coaches in Nottingham.
Yorkshireman James Peach, with a highest world ranking of 237 (Currently at 300), is another strong contender. Renowned for his attacking flair on court, the 20 year-old is a three-time British Junior Champion. The Doncaster-born professional currently resides in Bristol and trains alongside two world-class players in the Shorbagy brothers - former British Open Champion and ex-World No 1 Mohammed and his younger sibling Marwan (world No 5).
Grimsby’s Harry Falconer is No 3 - the 19-year-old is currently at his highest world ranking of 304 having just won the Carlisle Open Closed Satellite last month ran by our own Liam Gutcher.
Phil Nightingale of Surrey is a regular at the Gosforth Classic and won the competition in its former guise of the Newcastle Northern Cup. Currently ranked at 314 the ever-competitive 35 year-old reached his highest world ranking of 141 in 2008.
Former world No 204 Julian Tomlinson is another who always gives 100 per cent. The 24-year-old from Chorley returns to the North East as the world-ranked 453, and looking to go one better than his runner-up spot from last year.
The 30-draw A Event holds a further 26 players including ten more world-ranked players from the PSA tour!
A one to watch out for is the fast-emerging Nicholas Wall from Sheffield. Ranked at 413 in the world, the 17-year-old is capable of punching well above his weight. He is a previous British Junior Champion and was this year's British Under 19 runner-up, having beaten Kyle Finch (PSA 169) in the semi-finals.
Other seeds from far and wide include Seigo Masuda from Japan and Erik Jakobsson from Sweden, while closer to home, local boy Michael Andrews from Stockton-On-Tees competes at his highest world rank of 441.
Also in the A event is Northern's own Liam Gutcher, tournament organiser Cai Younger and Michael Mattimore, as well as 1993 US Open semi-finalist and former world No 27 Paul Lord - all of which have the potential to upset some of the seedings.
And even the B event plays host to accomplished Northumbria Premier League players such as Jon Evans and David Jackson, as well as David Collins from Norton and Oscar Hill from the Isle of Man.'