PILLEY RECALLS GOLD MEDAL
There may be Commonwealth gold round his neck, but for Cameron Pilley, whether he plays in another is the “million dollar question” over his head.
“It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest,” Pilley said.
“I’m 35 ... and I’m taking it season by season on the world tour. I think if I move into coaching, and had the desire I’d give myself a solid 12 months to prepare to put myself in contention.”
Pilley said he was still on a high from winning the gold in the mixed doubles, and said each of his Games wins had been a different experience.
“The first one in Delhi, it hit home for me when I was standing on the podium watching the Australian flag,” he said.
“The last one in Glasgow because winning with David Palmer was really special.
“This time, it was all the friends and family that came up and watched, and to do it for the Aussie crowd. It’s once in a blue moon we play in front of that sort of crowd at home, and we really wanted to do it for them and give them the atmosphere.”
Pilley said he was heartened by the public’s reaction to the sport, and said the biggest compliment was from other athletes in the village and the respect they held for the squash players.
“There was this disbelief from a lot of them that we’re not in the Olympics, and that’s a big compliment to squash,” he said.
The village, Pilley said, was one of the best he’d experienced at a Games, with four or five different sections, each with its own swimming pool, barista making coffee from 7am–7pm, barbers, beauty salons and everything they could want.
And as for the now infamous closing ceremony, Pilley said he didn’t attend, and said on talking to a few of the athletes who returned early, they told him it was a good decision.
“My in-laws are out here, and they were really disappointed. They thought it would be a massive party ... with the athletes and it just wasn’t,” he said.
Pilley is on his way back to his home in Denmark, and will play in the Danish league playoffs before putting in a twoweek block of training before the final tournament of the season, the British Open, and said the experience of past games helped him decide what to do.
“Four years ago, there was a bit of a comedown and I went to Hong Kong and China and didn’t win a game,” he said.
“There’s actually a tournament in Egypt I could play, and I chose not to from that experience.”
Pilley gets a tough first round draw in the British Open, facing number three seed Gregory Gaultier, but said it wasn’t an insurmountable task.
“It’s tough when you look at it, but I think you have to go in the positive, and having beaten him before, and I almost beat him at the British two years ago, I know if I can put a good two-week block together it will be a contest,” he said.
For now, though, Pilley said the gold-medal win was an amazing experience, and had watched the final point back a few times.
“It’s good to see the expression on my face. I was just so happy to win that match,” he said. “You know what it feels like on the inside, and to see the expression it shows how much it means to me.”
WE REALLY WANTED TO DO IT FOR THEM AND GIVE THEM THE ATMOSPHERE. CAMERON PILLEY
IN ACTION: Cameron Pilley competes against Lewis Walters, of Jamaica, in the squash men’s singles match on day two of the Commonwealth Games.