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  Winning a first Five Nations - Josep Escabros

fippa.org was privileged to speak with an elated Josep Escabros in the wake of his leading Andorra to an historic victory in Pitch and Putt's Five Nations tourney.

fippa.org (Q.) How delighted are to be the captain of the first Andorra team to win the 5 Nations tournament?
Josep Escabros (A.) Really happy and proud of the team.

Q. How was the Andorra team selected? Were there qualifying criteria?
A. Three players were selected from the national ranking and the other five from the playoffs we organised two days before the competition.

Q. How much preparation did you do as a team? In the weeks preceding the tournament? On the Friday before? 
A. All the players prepared themselves in their free time as all of them have their professional occupations.

Q. How did you decide who would play together as partners in Greensomes and Fourballs?
A. As we have relatively few players in Andorra and we all know each other, I tried to make balanced pairs and every day we used the same partnerships.

Q. There were some new faces on the Andorra team. How important were they to the victory? 
A. They were fundamental for the victory. Their adaptation was spectacular.

Q. Beating the Catalans 11.5 to 4.5 over the weekend was obviously key to your overall win. What strategy did you employ to position your players 1-4 (in doubles) and 1-8 (in singles)?
A. Catalunya, France and Galicia were difficult rivals. The Basques are a somewhat inexperienced team but with an enormous competitive spirit. As we had a team with a lot of quality, it was easy to choose 1-4 doubles and 1-8 singles. All of them could win their matches.

Q. Were you worried at any stage during the weekend? 
A. As I said before, all rivals were very strong but I fully trusted in my team during all the matches.

Q. You have played for Andorra in the 5 Nations/Quadrangular, European Championship and World Cup. How were you able to draw on those experiences to assist the 2020 team? 
A. I’ve been lucky to represent my country in many intentational competitions as a player and it really gave me the experience to make better decisions, but as a captain, I have to say that the merit of this victory is with the players.

Q. What did you do to celebrate?
A. Due to Covid restrictions the celebration was not effusive, but a great joy.