How to get more new faces on the tour?
JOE PERRY thinks he might have the answer…
Gentleman Joe Perry has made a suggestion about how snooker can see MORE new faces on the professional tour.
The 47-year-old, who won his second ranking title this year at the Welsh Open – with a career spanning thirty years, said recently at a Cuestars event this month that the current QSchool setup was not right for youngsters coming through.
He suggested that there should be a separate Q-School that is void of relegated professionals who have just come off the tour and also those ex-pros.
He told the Cuestars website: “I don’t think it’s the best course of action for wannabe junior snooker players with ambition. It’s way too tough. OK, they can get experience from it, but I don’t think it’s the best way for them.
Fab feedback from Joe Perry at the Cuestars Under-21 presentation day 😀
— Cuestars (@snookercuestars) June 17, 2022
“I’d encourage them to play in it, but don’t be disheartened if you don’t get through. It’s a huge step up from what they are playing at the moment.
“I’d like to see another possible route for them, perhaps a Q School that is completely void of pros and ex-pros so we do see some new faces on the tour.
“They might not be ready, they’ll get on, they’ll get beat for two years but – in the long run – it will do them good.
This year at Q-School, the majority of the players who had managed to get through Q-School had already been on the tour before or had only just bounced back from being relegated.
Jenson Kendrick was the only “new” player to come through the arduous event held in Ponds Forge in Sheffield this year a month or so ago.
Although the OCEANIA Q-School event held in Thailand saw India’s first professional.
There are new players on the tour such as two females in Thailand’s talented Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who won the World Women’s Snooker Championship back earlier this year, and England’s Rebecca Kenna, Q-School is a hotbed for ex-pros or relegated pros allowing them to jump back on relatively quickly.
Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien was relegated just recently and has just bounced back.
Perry has been jetting about outside of the snooker season playing exhibitions and turning up at events to help promote snooker in the south of England.
A couple of months ago he was at an exhibition in West Byfleet at the new Surrey Snooker Academy with Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King, who treated fans to a 147.
On Cuestars, the amateur setup which gives youngsters a taste of professional style competitive snooker, Perry added: “Things like this are so important. I played in junior events, but nothing like this. This is one of the best things around for junior snooker. Long may it continue.”