Fringe Box



Wey Valley Bowler Who Plays Against The World’s Elite

Published on: 18 Jan, 2019
Updated on: 18 Jan, 2019

Guildford’s Wey Valley Indoor Bowls Club at Stoke Park has been ringing the changes over the past three years. Once a members’ only club – its doors are now open to the community with a host of attractions for all ages. This is the second in a series of articles about the club. It focuses on top player Paul Coleman, in his own words, and ahead of an important match for him this week against a player ranked 12th in the world.

“I have been very fortunate and lucky to play with some of Surrey and England’s finest players to guide me to where I am today – playing against the world’s elite bowlers. 

Wey Valley bowler Paul Coleman.

“My bowls career began in 1989-1990 at the age of 10 at Raynes Park Bowling Club, a council bowing green in Merton. I had been taught the game by some fantastic players including my father, Michael, Chris Young, Paul Vamvocopolus and Wynne Richards.

“I had joined Wey Valley in 1999 to ensure I was playing with the best and continuously learning to improve my game. I am not one for standing still. There is always room for improvement and I can learn something from every game. Never focus just on the good points from a game – focus on the mistakes and poor decisions to ensure they don’t happen again. 

“Wey Valley has supported me in every way during my time with the club. It is a forward-thinking club and has always led the way in pushing and promoting younger players. I joined at the age of 20 and had five very successful years with the club’s under-25 team, winning three National club titles. 

“Then came England U25 international recognition. Once over the age of 25, I made the step up to the full England Senior Team being ever present for seven years (21 caps) finishing with a televised test match against Wales in 2013.

“In 2016 I decided to retire from outdoor bowls. Having played outdoors for the full England senior team, England U25s and played at the National finals on many occasions, I had achieved more than I could have dreamed of. 

“Practice, consistency and maintaining high standards is the key to success. Make a poor game, somebody else’s good game so you are always going to have the upper hand and the edge.  

“The two standout moments in my bowls carrier have been winning the Denny Cup with Wey Valley in 2013 and winning the EIBA National Singles in 2006.  

“Wey Valley have had some outstanding players over the years. Internationals such as Alan Windsor and Dickie Lamdin – yet they never managed to deliver the Denny Cup. 

“We we won the Denny Cup we had a group of players that was more than a team. We now have the next generation coming through, with me being one of the ‘senior’ players in this year’s team!

“This season I set myself some goals – one of which was to re-join the PBA (Professional Bowls Association) with the aim of qualifying for the Just World Singles being held at Potters in Norfolk. 

“The qualifiers took place in Bromley, Kent in September which meant I had to practise during the summer months to get myself ‘match fit’. 

“I managed to qualify without dropping a set and have set myself up with a mouth-watering tie with world number 12, Les Gillett.

“No match is ever going to be easy – these are the world’s elite players. It puts you against the best to see how good you can be. 

“Games like these should bring the best out of player and raise the standards even higher. 

“As a qualifier, I am the underdog – nothing to lose and everything to gain. Every top 16 seeded player will not want to draw an England qualifier as there are so many good players around. 

“The portable blue carpet is probably playing the quickest it has for years – this is touch bowling at its best. Let’s see what happens.”

Click here to see a short video interview with Paul Coleman. 

Wey Valley Indoor Bowls Club has six rinks on its indoor green and a 10-rink short mat facility, the latter currently operated by Surrey County Short Mat Bowling Association.

For more details click here for the Wey Valley Indoor Bowls Club’s website.

It is located off Lido Road (off Stoke Road), Guildford GU1 1HB.

Telephone: 01483 560844.

Stop press: Paul has now played his match in the Just World Singles at Potters in Norfolk against Les Gillett, and this time unfortunately could not overcome the World Bowls Tour Top 16 player, currently ranked 12th.

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