Big thanks to Declan, who helped me to compile his player profile over the weekend. Declan is currently one of mine, and a lot of people's, favourite players to watch on the tour. Great movement, attacking play and getting better all the time. Last year's win in Nantes was a great result and the squash on display was top quality!
Declan is one of a number of top players to have recently started wearing Eye S-Line Shoes, which are proving a real hit on tour. Like Diego Elias, Declan also uses Dunlop rackets. So Declan is using two of the top brands on the market at present, representing great heritage and innovation in equal measure!
This profile includes advice for aspiring pros, Declan's favourite players and who he'd pay to watch. Declan must also be into his strings, given that he has a very precise tension on his rackets (spoiler alert) strung at 28.5lbs, which is a fairly high tension, given the current trend for loose/mid tension stringing.
Name: Declan James
Highest Ranking: 16
Biggest Achievements: Commonwealth Bronze medallist Men’s Doubles 2018, Open Internationale De Nantes Champion 2018
Coach: Phil Whitlock
Racket Sponsor: Dunlop
Shoe Sponsor: Eye
Shoe Model and Colour: S-line blue, yellow, peach
Racket Model: Hyperfibre
String Sponsor: Dunlop
String Model: Silk Black
Tension: 28.5 lbs
How often do you break strings: Every 2 weeks
What do you like about the current strings you use? Great feel, durable, and they look good!
When on tour, what can't you be without? My phone, my laptop, and a book. I like to stay connected to my family and friends. I enjoy watching a TV series whilst on tour. And I always like having a book to read.
Hero Squash Players: Amr Shabana, James Willstrop, Nick Matthew
Describe your playing style in 3 words: Attacking, Controlled, Rhythmical
What's your favourite shot to play: Straight kill
If you could change anything about your game, what would you change? More speed
What advice would you give to aspiring juniors? Work harder than you’re comfortable with, listen to the people whose opinion matters, ask questions, believe in the process, most of all enjoyment is key.
What do you get up to when not on the squash court? Driving. Reading in the coffee shop. Dinner with friends. Home time with family. Clothes shopping.
If you weren't a Pro squash player, what would you do for a job? Something business related, business development etc. Public speaking I.e encouraging kids to take up sport/discussing the benefits of a good mindset and reading/gaining knowledge.
Who do you buddy up with most on tour? Daryl Selby and George Parker
If you could pay to watch any other player on tour (past or present), who would it be and why? Amr Shabana, he made the game look easy and did the basics to a near perfect standard more times than not, it was liquid gold.
Hardest Hitter on tour? Cameron Pilley