Guernsey's Games tennis team as 'strong as it could be'
Guernsey's top tennis players are targeting a return to form on the Island Games stage this summer.
Officials have unveiled a near full-strength home team for Guernsey 2023, giving them a good shot at improving upon a lacklustre run at Gibraltar 2019 where a women’s team bronze was their only medal.
Rob West and previous individual medallist Patrick Ogier both make their first Games appearances since Gotland 2017, while prolific Guernsey champion Jo Dyer and newer threat Lauren Watson-Steele headline the women’s team.
Joint-captain West has called the teams ‘as strong as they could be’, save for the impressive Olly Cull missing out due to recent shoulder surgery.
‘There’s a few relatively familiar names from inter-insular teams and county representation, and there’s a few experienced newcomers,’ he said.
‘It’s a first Island Games for Lauren Watson-Steele. She’s a really strong addition to the ladies’ team and I know she’s very much looking forward to experiencing her first Island Games.
‘Patrick has geared himself up for representing the island again – he has not played a lot of tennis in the last few years, but he has dedicated himself to training for this Games.’
Three women are making their debuts, also including youngsters Lauren Coutanche and Jenny Hutchins.
This mix of players gives the host island solid chances in both the men’s and women’s team events, together with capable campaigners in the singles.
With doubles medals up for grabs, it is also the first opportunity for the 2017 golden duo – West and Dyer – to repeat that mixed triumph.
West will be taking aim at a total haul of four to five medals, which would be a massive step up from Gibraltar.
‘I would be hoping we would be looking to achieve more along the lines of Games before that,’ he said.
‘I think we would be disappointed if, for both the men and ladies, we did not medal in the team events.
‘It’s unknown which players are coming over from other islands, but as a minimum we would be looking to medal in the team events.’
Guernsey tennis team
Men: Patrick Ogier, Rob West, Tom Turner, Pete Robinson, Chris Freeman.
Women: Jo Dyer, Lauren Barker, Lauren Watson-Steele, Lauren Coutanche, Jenny Hutchins.