Sport

Boswell sets sights on coaching role in Qatar

STEWART BOSWELL is eyeing a post-retirement move to Qatar where he hopes to work in a coaching capacity alongside squash legend Geoff Hunt.

The Canberra junior drew the curtain on a 14-year professional playing career last week after his quarter-final loss in the Kuwait Cup. He has been in talks with Hunt about joining him at the Aspire Academy in the developing Middle East nation.

Hunt headed up the AIS program for almost two decades and oversaw Boswell's progression from the Woden Squash Courts to the pro circuit where he peaked in 2002 at No 4 in the world.

The England-based 33-year-old was excited about the potential move to Qatar, but admitted it wasn't where he had imagined his career would take him.

''I'm going to be going from the wettest place in the world to the driest place in the world so nothing like a bit of a change to life after squash,'' Boswell said.

''It's going to be a bit of a change. It possibly could be as early as the beginning of next year.

Advertisement

''The academy is modelled a bit on what the AIS was of different sports, and squash is one of their focuses.''

Boswell had been grappling with the retirement decision even before returning to Canberra in August for the Australian Open.

Form wasn't an issue - last month he surged to 16th in the world, his highest ranking in recent years, but spending time away from wife Vicky and 18- month-old son James took its toll.

''Having an 18-month-old son at home and going away every couple of weeks kind of made the decision for me really,'' Boswell said.

''It'll be nice to spend some consistent time with them [family].

''When I went back to Australia this year I was probably thinking that was my last Australian Open I was going to play. Logically it was the right decision but still emotionally knowing that you're not going to be playing any more is still a hard one to make.''

Boswell lost in four sets to Frenchman Gregory Gaultier to finish his career.

His last match on home soil was also a four-set loss, in the round of 16 at this year's Australian Open to world No 2 and eventual champion Ramy Ashour. Boswell has won the tournament four times.

''I felt like I was playing okay and I could've kept going for a bit longer - just at 33, the improvements I could make are going to be minimal and the top guys were already ahead of me and pushing on,'' Boswell said.

''The feeling where you don't believe you can win a tournament, that wasn't a feeling that sat that well with me to be honest.

''It's been probably eight years in between when I was ranked four in the world and now.

''That's just the way it is, the game progresses and younger players take it to a new level.

''While I could've kept playing a bit longer I felt like I wouldn't have been able to get much higher or win any of those tournaments that I really hoped to.''