Not a happy Cameron
SHOCKED with his non-selection in the Australian Commonwealth Games squash team, former Yamba star Cameron Pilley plans to appeal and force his way into the team. Pilley revealed his intentions to Daily Examiner journalist Adrian Miller via email from Chicago. Following is the transcript of the email.
DEX: It's the obvious question, but how did you react to the news of not being selected?
Cameron Pilley (CP): My first reaction was that it had to be a 'gee-up' or something. But the fact that it was the CEO of Squash Australia on the other end of the phone quickly dismissed that thought. Seriously though, I was pretty disappointed about the selection of the team.
DEX: What were your first thoughts after you were told?
CP: After getting over the initial shock, there were a few thoughts running through my head. The selectors obviously had their reasons for picking the other two players, and that is fine. But after reading through the selection criteria a number of times, I could not see how they came to their decision. Another was the disappointment in myself in not making the team. You work so hard, put so much time, effort and money in to trying to make something like the Commonwealth Games team, and when I found out I had missed out, it wasn't the best feeling I've had in my career.
DEX: When you discovered who had made the team, what was your reaction given you were ranked higher than Joseph Kneipp and Dan Jenson?
CP: Well Adrian, I wasn't too happy, that's for sure. Everyone has had the Commonwealth Games in mind for a while now, and after working so hard to improve my game and ranking over the past year, it doesn't look like it has counted for anything. January 2005, both players were ranked above me in the PSA (Professional Squash Association) world rankings, and were looking the goods to make the team ? and rightfully so. Fast forward a year to January '06, I am higher ranked and the only one to actually have improved their ranking a year later.
DEX: How are you feeling towards those guys at the moment?
CP: Well, I'm actually in Chicago playing a tournament, and I'm rooming with one of the guys. But there's no hard feelings towards them at all. They're not the ones selecting the team, they just do what they've got to do.
If they get picked, congratulations and good on them. I see them at a lot of tournaments throughout the year and we're all friends anyway. Not much has changed really, they haven't done anything wrong.
DEX: Do you think politics played a role?
CP: I sincerely hope that politics did not play a role in selection of the team, Adrian. Again, the selectors have their reasons, but I really hope that a conflict of interest and personal issues didn't come into play. Two coaches from the AIS are members of the selection committee and have a major influence on selections. I parted ways with the AIS in July last year, and since then have improved my ranking from 35 to 28. I have nothing to do with them anymore.
DEX: So what are the plans now? Do you think you will appeal the decision?
CP: I am definitely going to appeal the decision and hopefully get it overturned. I got an extension on the appeal date, which needs to be lodged by next Friday. After that we'll just have to wait and see.
DEX: How long are you overseas for and what tournaments are you playing while over there?
CP: I'm in the States for a while now. I have three tournaments on the trot starting in Chicago now. I've then got events in Dayton and Virginia. These are all pretty important events and I'm looking to put in a good showing in all three. I have the Tournament Of Champions in late February, which is being held in Grand Central Terminal, New York.
I played it last year and it's an awesome sight. I'll be doing some training in New Jersey for the period up until then.
DEX: Will you watch the squash during the Games?
CP: Well mate, I'm still holding hopes of playing at them. At the moment I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing.
I may travel down with my folks and check out the Games first hand, if not I will most likely be getting the TV hours up.