By Bob James
PADEL TECH ambassador Barry Coffey is celebrating his second success on the International Senior Padel Tour after claiming the Sardinian Seniors Padel Open at the weekend.
Barry, who has been a Padel Tech ambassador since 2018, partnered Argentine international Roque Roasio to success over Italian opposition at the sumptuous Sporting Bola club in Cagliari, to make it two wins out of three on the ISPT tour.
Barry also triumphed in Zurich earlier this season, while only an injury to his partner denied him a hat-trick of successes in Amsterdam recently, as the renowned veteran Irishman continues to enjoy a padel purple patch on the seniors tour – to die for!
Savouring his success in Sardinia and a season to remember Barry shared: “I’m delighted to say it’s two wins out of three with victories in the ISPT tournaments in Zurich and also Sardinia just at the weekend with my partner Roque Roasio, who is an Argentinean international and a class act.
“In Sardinia we beat an Italian pair (6-2, 6-1) and in Zurich we won in straight sets also against Italians and I guess it is interesting that when the tour moves to a particular country the majority of the players are from that nation.
“At the end of July I also played in Amsterdam with the English based Swede called Bjorn Schroeder and we made the final group play-off stage only for Bjorn to tear a tendon in his shoulder and we were officially credited with a third, so despite that it has been a great run.
“The next ISPT is in a fortnight in Valladolid, Spain and two days after that we are in Dubai for the middle eastern leg starting, and there is also a South American leg, so it is exciting times for the tour and great to see the way it is developing.”
At 63, Barry has no doubt what fuels his competitive fire to keep ‘padeling’ on the ISPT and he revealed: “Really it is the buzz of competition that keeps me going and just pitting myself against other players and seeing what I can do to improve.
“This year for the tour I put in a lot of physical effort and training with my coach Kristina Clement and my aim is just to keep improving. Physically I may have to work harder as I am older but I still believe I can improve.
“Also playing with a player of Roque’s class is something that is an added challenge when the opposition are putting Roque in the ‘fridge’ (being frozen out of play) and it’s my job to get him out!
“So to do that I need to put the ball in positions in the court where the opposition can’t play it back to me and that is something that brings pressure and believe me you need to work at.”
Looking back over his six years of involvement with Padel Tech, Barry, who is also president of the Irish Padel Association, explained how it all came about: “In 2017 I was playing a tournament under the governance of British Padel (padel’s governing body in the UK prior to the LTA) and there was a tournament at West of Scotland and it was a big weekend for me as, despite making a few finals, it was the first time I had won on the British Padel Tour.
“While I was there I had arranged the first international match at seniors level, which was Monaco v Ireland and I then wanted to organise something like the Six Nations in rugby and Paul Ross the MD at Padel Tech was there and he came over to me and offered Padel Tech’s support.
“The idea was that we took what was to be the Four Nations to a padel centre which Padel Tech had built in association with AFP (All For Padel) courts and Paul suggested Casa Padel in Paris and he made the introduction there with Jose Manuel and so Padel Tech sponsored that first tournament.
“That was 1,000 Euros to Casa Padel to cover our costs and Ireland, Scotland, England, and Monaco battled it out for the first Four Nations and that is how my relationship with Padel Tech was born.”
As the exiled ‘Irelander’, who ‘padels’ out of the EZE Padel Club, Eze, which is halfway between Nice and Monte Carlo, added it is a relationship that has blossomed: “That relationship has grown stronger every year and I was then delighted to become an ambassador for Padel Tech promoting their name on my clothing all over Europe.
“But Padel Tech also helped me with my introduction to Adidas Padel and I was very fortunate to become an ambassador for them and of course since 2018 I only use their clothing and equipment and that is all down to Paul Ross!.”
Indeed the hook up with global sporting clothing giants Adidas is an arrangement which has led to Barry being known to everyone in the world of competitive padel as ‘Adidaddy’.
Yet, as Barry steadily built his Four Nations event into a Six Nations championship, which is among the most prestigious team tournaments in the senior game, his links with Padel Tech have also strengthened through our continued patronage.
Over to you Barry: “Paul and I have become really good friends and we have a lot of long conversations about the padel world and Padel Tech have also now kindly become clothing sponsors for the Irish senior team.
“So at the Six Nations we are always nicely kitted out in Adidas clothing with Padel Tech across it while last year Padel Tech supplied the tee shirts for all players competing at the Six Nations.
“I don’t know how much Padel Tech get out of it but when I’m playing in Sardinia, Zurich, or Amsterdam, it may not be a big deal to the local people but across social media I have quite a following, so it’s out there and people ask: ‘I see you have Padel Tech on your shirt, who are they?’
“That then gives me the opportunity to explain they are the premium supplier and creator of padel courts in the UK and Ireland.”
Adding this glowing testimonial to his endorsement of Padel Tech (official distributor for AFP Courts) our esteemed ambassador said: “What I would also say is that Padel Tech are utterly professional, they have the right tools and most importantly of all they have an engineering background.
“People say to me you just carry the name because they give you stuff but that is not the case. I don’t carry anyone’s name unless I think it’s the best and I do firmly believe Padel Tech are the best.
“So I am very proud and I am very grateful to Padel Tech for the support they gave me in the past and have continued to give me.”
Despite all his success this summer Barry has one unfulfilled ambition and he revealed: “I am gagging to get on court at Padium and hoping that is not far away, so hopefully Paul will take note of that!
“Really the bottom line is that the whole Padium project has just emphasised that Padel Tech are indeed the market leading padel court builder in the UK.”