AFTER 50 years of trying, Tame Valley has finally made it to the first division of the North West Counties Squash League.
And the Greenfield-based club has strengthened its side in a bid to give it a shot of success in the top flight.
They have brought in four new players, the marquee signing Evan Williams, a New Zealander ranked 86 in the world.
Williams has been joined by Elliot Ridge, the world number nine at U19 level, along with Lewis Doughty who is 282 in the world and Chris Morrison who has also played at a high level.
They have lined up Chris Fuller, a world top 100 player, to make a number of appearances when the other top players are missing when competing at big tournaments.
The signings have been made possible after club members raised £6,000 to fund the team for the season.
And the new-look team got off to the best possible start beating Heswall 4-1 in its first game through victories by Williams, Morrison, Ridge and captain Amir Manouchehri.
Manouchehri, who was raised in Moorside, said: “It was historic night for the club and there were 60-odd spectators watching.
“It was quite a sight seeing so many people crowded at the back of the courts.
“Everybody is thrilled for us to be playing in the first division for the first time, and there is a great feeling at the club.”
Manouchehri, 26, has been at Tame Valley for 11 years and when he joined the club’s first team played in the third division of the NWCSL.
He said: “We have had two promotions, but the step up from the second to first division is ridiculous in terms of the difference in standard.
“That is why we have strengthened the side to give us our best chance of trying to stay in the division.”
Tame Valley secured promotion following a dramatic 3-2 win against Capitol, from St Helens, in the last game of the season as they were crowned champions by only one point.
“It went down to the last game of the last game and Jamie Maddox, a player in his mid-forties, recorded the win that secured promotion,” explained Manouchehri.
The promotion-winning team skippered by Maniuchehri, also comprised Matt Walker, Maddox, Matt Walsh and Wright Phillips.
Find out more about Tame Valley Squash and Tennis club online: www.tamevalley.info