Glasgow 2014: Adrian Grant ready for Scottish reception

By Chris SleggBBC London Sport
Glasgow pressure does not faze Grant
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates:23 July to 3 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

Adrian Grant says England's squash players have been told to prepare for a heated reception from home fans at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

England Squash have met with their players to discuss their competitive history against Scotland.

"We've had a couple of meetings about the atmosphere," the 33-year-old from Clapham told BBC London.

"It's something we've been told about. We know there is always that rivalry between Scotland and England."

The reigning men's doubles Commonwealth champion added: "Scotland have a good team in squash, particularly in the doubles. That is realistically where their medal chances will be.

"So if we play them we will have to have our ear plugs in. If it gets to fine lines in a match we expect the home fans could get vocal.

"That's why we love the sport though - for the emotion it brings out in people."

Grant won gold with Nick Matthew in Delhi four years ago and is set to reprise that partnership in Glasgow.

Matthew, who turns 34 on Friday, is also currently world champion in singles and is looking to defend the Commonwealth singles title he won in 2010.

However his Games preparations have been hit by a serious knee injury and just four weeks ago Matthew underwent surgery.

"When Nick told me about the injury, I just wanted to make sure he was OK as being injured is hard to take" Grant said.

"It was bitter pill to swallow but I've seen his progress and it's really good.

Adrian Grant and Nick Matthew
Grant (left) won gold in the men's doubles alongside Nick Matthew at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi

"The team behind him, England Institute of Sport, are some of the best in the world, so he's in a positive place. Knowing Nick as I do, he'll be doing everything possible to be able to compete."

If Matthew doesn't make it to Scotland Grant will be partnered by 28-year-old Tom Richards, with England retaining their number one seeding in the doubles.

"Tom is more than capable of holding his own," said Grant. "He is ranked top 30 in the world.

"We've played a warm-up doubles tournament which we won. I'd be happy teaming up with Tom if needs be.

"The squash is there, and we are friends off court, it's just about building our foundation as a pairing.

"I guess I'll be the older statesman, I will be trying to guide him and give him words of wisdom through my experience, but then he'd also have my back.

Grant on his doubles partnership with Nick Matthew
"We know each other's game inside out. We kind of have this whole mental sync going on. That's quite hard to build up."

Matthew is confident of being fit and that will be a huge boost to England in both the singles and doubles, where he and Grant have a seemingly telepathic understanding.

"We've been friends since we were eight and we've competed since we were eight," said Grant.

"We know each other's game inside out. We kind of have this whole mental sync going on. He understands what I'm going through and vice versa.

"For a sport that is usually an individual sport like squash, that's quite hard to build up. It's hard to show your vulnerability to a team-mate.

"England Squash has done great things over recent years with world champions, world team champions and European champions. We would love to top the medals table again."

Scotland's players, and their fans, will of course have other ideas.