Croquet’s Most Improved Players 2023

The four most improved player awards have been announced for the 2023 Croquet season.  Each of the four competitors have shown significant improvement during the selection period.  The awards often take into account tournament wins and an increase in ranking alongside other significant competitive achievements.

The four players receiving the Most Improved player awards for 2023 are:

David Fuller, Most Improved Male, Association Croquet
Club: East Dorset Croquet Club, Poole
Having played for less than two years, David is often seen practicing at his home club, East Dorset Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.  Not only has he completed in this time the croquet equivalent to a century [snooker reference], but he has also won a prestigious Eight’s tournament.  He has finished the year with a world ranking of #142 having taken games from three of the top 50 world ranked players.

Gabrielle Higgins, Most Improved Female, Association Croquet
Club: Sussex County Croquet Club, Southwick
Gabrielle was one of the Women’s World Championship finalists, played in New Zealand at the beginning of this year’s selection period in late 2022.  Since then she made it through the qualifying stages of the World Championship held in England in the 2023 summer.  She then went on to win the first round of the knockout, but didn’t quite make the quarter finals, finishing the season with a world ranking of #32.

Dom Aavold, Most Improved Male, Golf Croquet
Club: Bristol Croquet Club, Bristol
Dom has been playing competitive Golf Croquet for four years, winning 5 of his first 7 games in 2019 he was always pegged for ‘one to watch’.  During the 2023 season he has a 66% win rate from his 130 games played. One of his bigger successes being against Aston Wade, the current Under 21 Golf Croquet World Champion in the beginning of the year.  His form continued throughout the season and he went on to win the Sussex County Open Series in Southwick, finishing the competitive year with a world ranking of #90.

Liz Drury, Most Improved Female, Golf Croquet
Club: Compton Croquet Club, Eastbourne
One of the biggest success stories to hit croquet comes from Compton Croquet Club in Eastbourne.  Local player Liz played started playing in 2022, but with only 18 games to her record she had little experience coming into the 2023 season.  Liz then demonstrated a phenomenal improvement during the season, gaining a huge 459 grade points in a year.  In the summer of 2023, the Women’s World Championship held it’s qualifying tournament at Liz’s home club.  Having entered the tournament, she went on to qualify and played in her first World Championship.  Not only did Liz play, she then qualified through the block stages and made it to the knockout.