Pil­ley plays new love game

Yamba squash star is bounc­ing off the walls with the ex­cite­ment of first ar­rival

The Daily Examiner - - SPORT - Adam Hourigan adam.hourigan@dai­lyex­am­iner.com.au

SQUASH: Cameron Pil­ley is sit­ting on a plane back to Den­mark af­ter his sea­son-open­ing event in the US.

He wouldn’t nor­mally make the trip back so soon af­ter a tour­na­ment but now he has a very good rea­son to make the re­turn trip.

Pil­ley and wife Line Hansen wel­comed their first baby, Karla Hansen Pil­ley, into the world two and a half weeks ago, the top-20 ranked squash player said it had been a whirl­wind few weeks lead­ing into the sea­son open­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously com­ing into the weeks lead­ing up to the birth we had to be ready to drop ev­ery­thing, but once we had the kid then it was re­ally tough to man­age the train­ing with the buzz and the ex­cite­ment of hav­ing the first kid,” he said.

“It was a pretty spe­cial mo­ment be­ing there and some­thing I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber. Tim­ing wise, I sup­pose be­fore the sea­son started is bet­ter than mid sea­son.

“In say­ing that, I skipped two events – Shang­hai and San Fran­cisco – to make sure I was there for the birth but I wouldn’t have missed the birth for any­thing.”

And with any new baby comes changes to a rou­tine, and the first thing Pil­ley said he was get­ting used to was a new sleep sched­ule.

“The first week was pretty bru­tal in the sleep­ing de­part­ment.”

“Any­one with a kid would know it’s a lot­tery with how much sleep you’re gonna get in the early days, but thank­fully my wife Line was also squash pro for more than 10 years. She knows how im­por­tant sleep is in or­der to train well and play well, so I man­aged a few nights sleep in the spare room.”

And as for the re­turn trips, Pil­ley said it was some­thing he was def­i­nitely in­clud­ing in the year to spend more time with his new ex­tended fam­ily.

“I think I’ll def­i­nitely try to get home more in be­tween events now that we have the lit­tle one. In the past I may have stayed on at an event for a few days then just go straight onto the next one, but that will change.”

“I want to be there for mum and bub when­ever I get a chance and hav­ing a child puts a whole new per­spec­tive on things.

“At the same time squash is still my job and I need to make sure that I train and per­form at the high­est level. I think it will be a bal­anc­ing act for a while be­fore we get into a rhythm with it all.”

Pil­ley was knocked out in the first round of his sea­son opener, run­ning into world num­ber 2 Mo­hamed El Shorbagy, who Pil­ley said “shocked him” a lit­tle with his ex­cel­lent early sea­son form, but said he was con­fi­dent his work in the off-sea­son would pay div­i­dends this year.

“I’ve been tweak­ing my train­ing over the last few sea­sons and it seems to be pay­ing div­i­dends.”

“I’ve elim­i­nated most of the im­pact train­ing from my pro­gram and changed a few things in my game and move­ment on court, and the body has re­sponded well to it.”

“The World Dou­bles win (last year) was a mas­sive con­fi­dence boost for both me and Ryan (Cuskelly). We knew that if per­formed to our abil­i­ties, we would be hard to beat, and we did that. We’re look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing in Aussie soil at the Com­mon­wealth Games.” But, as his plane flew back across the oceans to his home in Den­mark, get­ting back to see his new baby was the only thing on his mind. “It feels awe­some.” “It puts a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on things and makes you re­alise what the im­por­tant things in life are.”

BIG EVENT: Karla Hansen Pil­ley, first child for for­mer Yamba squash player Cameron Pil­ley and wife Line Hansen.

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