Paul Coll makes the move to Head
COLL IS HEAD HUNTED!
have swooped to sign world No.4 Paul Coll from Eye Rackets in a move
spearheaded by the brand’s new professional player consultant Laura
Negotiations between Massaro, Head’s global business manager Pasquale
Ruzicka, Coll and his coach Rob Owen lasted several months. The New
Zealander used Head rackets and bags for the first time at December’s
Black Ball Open.
“Obviously it’s a tough industry to be in at the moment but I believed
the company needed to invest in a top five male player to really put the
brand on the map,” Massaro tells Squash Player.
“Paul has been making semis and finals regularly, has just risen to four
in the world, and has been very open in stating he is ready to challenge
for world No.1. He loved the racket from the very first hit.”
Ex-world champion Massaro showed something of a Midas touch by signing
recent Harvard graduate Georgina Kennedy just before she won the England
Squash Challenge in Manchester in November. Massaro was also
instrumental in recent deals with USA’s Olivia Fiechter and recent Yale
graduate Lucy Beecroft, the 24-year-old from Northumbria.
Head role is one Massaro has transitioned into fairly smoothly since her
retirement at the British Open in May 2019, with help from her husband
Danny. “He’s helped me realise that when you’re at the top people are
not giving you attention, they’re giving the position you hold
attention. If it was genuinely about you, the person, that attention
wouldn’t just stop.
“Danny has always reinforced that I’m not a better person just because
I’ve won a squash tournament. I’m still myself and loved by my family
and friends. I’ve always had that mindset and it’s stood me in good
stead since I stopped playing.”
The Lancastrian has heeded the advice of fellow former world champion
Peter Nicol, who warned her to consider post-retirement offers carefully
“because you might end up in roles you’re not that passionate about.”
The 37-year-old had been coaching alongside Nicol’s wife Jess on
all-girls squash camps and workshops in the USA for three years and was
in the process of stepping up that role when Covid-19 hit. She works
four days a month with young players at the England Squash academy.
that on-court work is curtailed for now, she’s been busy writing her
autobiography and recording an audiobook version packed with bonus
It’s her Head role, though, that has kept her most busy. “I am the
middle man between HQ and the players,” she explains. “I’m there to
support them and lead contract renewals and negotiations. When things
return to normal, I’ll be travelling to six to eight tournaments a year,
scouting for young players.”
A trip to Head’s Austrian HQ earlier this year proved inspiring. “It was
amazing,” she reflects. “To see the love, care and handiwork that goes
into every racket – I wish I’d had that appreciation a bit earlier. It’s
so much more than a conveyor belt. It’s a very intricate process with an
incredible amount of thought behind it. It made me want to give my
racket a cuddle!”