11 Jul 2008 13:50:00
Shropshire's top player looks back at last season as he begins preparing for the new....
How would you sum up last season?
Very positive really, I set myself a target of 8,500 points for the season and ended up with 9,500 and still didn’t get into the top 32. Which just shows how high the standard is but I’m pleased with that.
Were there any highlights?
I took a lot of big scalps last season, beating Matthew Stevens 9-7 in the final qualifying round to get to Telford was a big result. I really wanted to play in Telford so there was a bit more pressure. Beating Ali Carter in the first round in China in the early part of the season. Then for the World Championship qualifiers I was really bad with flu, if it had been any other event I would have pulled out. I think I potted two balls and found myself 5-0, 6-1 and 7-2 down so to come back and win 10-9 against Ian Preece was a great result.
What was the low point?
The round robin qualifying stage for the Grand Prix, I just didn’t enjoy the five or six days at Pontins. All my mates were already through so it can be lonely place, snooker can be the hardest game in the world and you can get a bit down.
Will you be targeting a top 32 place?
Last season I won 8,500 ranking points which gave me17,000 on the two year list which has been enough recently to break into the top 32 but last season it wasn’t. This year I’ll have a good start with those points and hopefully go from there.
Will you change anything to help you achieve that goal?
I haven’t worked as hard as I can over the summer, it isn’t that easy anymore. When you’re younger it’s no problem to put in six hours a day but as you get older it isn’t so easy. I tend to work towards events now, focus on that. You can’t just prepare without goals, so I’ll focus on each event as it comes up.
What are you up to over the summer?
I went over to Dubai just after the season finished to play some of the Saudi players. More recently I’ve just had my table re-clothed so now I’ll do five weeks of hard practise.