YOUNG Bury squash star Finnlay Withington is hoping to wow the crowds on home turf next week.

Withington, who turned 20 last month, has successfully regained his wildcard spot for the upcoming Manchester Open 2024 and hopes home support will guide him to success in the PSA World Tour Silver-level event.

The sixth edition of the Manchester Open will take place from May 22-26 from the National Squash Centre, located on Etihad Campus.

The event will see 48 of the world’s top professionals battle it out for the titles including current men’s world number three, Mostafa Asal, and women’s world number five, Nour El Tayeb, who are the top seeds.

Withington, is ranked 81st in the world but was the men’s wildcard in last year’s event and says he is hoping the home crowd will help propel him on to victory this year.

“I’m very happy to receive the wildcard spot again this year,” said Withington.

“I loved playing in front of the home crowd last year and I felt it really pushed me to play better and perform at near to my best.”

Since last year’s tournament, he has gone from strength to strength and broken into the top 100 of the PSA men’s world rankings.

Withington believes that last year’s wildcard spot gave him the chance to compete against better players and push his ranking ahead.

“I think the main difference from this year to last year is my ranking and the results I’ve been getting,” Withington said.

“My overall level has improved a lot and I think getting the wildcard last year gave me that springboard to push on and attack the Challenger Tour events.”

Aside from his Manchester Open appearances, Withington has featured in one other World Tour event, in Cleveland, USA, where he lost out to eventual champion, Leonel Cardenas.

But competing at these bigger events is where the Englishman wants to be.

“It definitely gives me more motivation to get into these bigger-sized events,” said Withington.

“This is where I want to be playing my squash and I know I have to work hard to be here consistently, that’s what I’m training for.

“It’s also very cool to be on SQUASHTV, so that people who can’t be there to watch me live can watch me online, and I can also go back and watch the match afterwards to learn from it.”

Alongside his rise in the rankings, Withington has competed at tournaments across the globe since last year’s Manchester Open, and he claimed his biggest title to date at the Edmonton Open, in Canada, two months ago.

Now, the former British Junior Open champion is hoping to showcase his improvement on home soil.

“My season has gone pretty well so far,” he said. “I’ve have had a few good results and picked up my biggest title, so I’m just excited to get going in Manchester to try and show that form on a big stage.

“The home crowd helps me a lot. When the match starts to get tough, knowing the crowd are on my side will push me through and hopefully help me to get a win.”

Withington will take on compatriot George Parker in round one of the Manchester Open on Wednesday, May 22.

n Tickets for the event are still available and more information is on the tournament website at