He’s 14, and hails from Halifax…
Stan “The Action” Moody is UK snooker’s brightest young talent and already boasts a maximum to his name and a high break in competition of 133.
The keen young teenager has been picked by the English Partnership of Snooker and Billiards (EPSB)to play in Q-School this year at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge, where the World Championship qualifiers used to be held.
There are not many talented youngsters around in snooker like Stan from the UK and the EPSB said it is determined to give these youngsters every opportunity to grow and develop so they can follow their dreams of becoming a professional snooker player.
Moody is looking to become the youngest youngster to earn a place on the main tour at this year’s QSchool as 14 golden tickets are up for grabs.
It’s been a tough year for young amateurs like Moody, who’ve had no tournaments to play in to hone their skills further – due to the corona virus pandemic.
He told the EPSB: “I have missed playing in tournaments a lot because I just love competing – I thrive in competitions and it makes me play better. “During lockdown I’ve only been able to play on my own; it hasn’t been boring, although it’s difficult to get up for, but you’ve still got to practise.”
Usually, you’ll see Stan playing at the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield or in Kevin Ellis’s club Levels in Huddersfield knocking in breaks like this one below….
He looks up to most in the game, Mark Selby, the recent four-times World Champion.
He said: I really admire Mark Selby’s all-round game. At first, I didn’t fully engage with his style of play, but as my own safety game is getting better, I know how hard the game is both mentally and safety wise. I just appreciate how good they all are.
He added: “I think my strengths are potting and break-building. I’ve been a good potter since day one – I just wanted to pot balls like anyone else from a young age and I’m now regularly making breaks above 70.”
Moody follows in the footsteps of fine young talent such as 2019 World Champion Judd Trump, who when he was a youngster turned pro at 16.
WHAT ARE STAN’S CHANCES AT THIS YEAR’S QSCHOOL?
Robbie Watson, 55, who does Exhibitions for players to play their idols, thinks that young Stan Moody has a very good chance of going far and even fulfilling his dreams at QSchool this year.
He told SnookerZone when asked how good Stan’s chances were realistically at QSchool, he said…
“I do. I do. I was at an exhibition watching him when he was ten and sat next to a guy at the time and didn’t know who it was, and when I spoke to him it just happened to be his Dad, Nigel Moody. I was just in awe of Stan. He had such a great cue action even then.”
He added: “What sets him apart from others is he just seems to not suffer from any nerves when he’s playing and he seems so confident in his own ability. Even Nigel Bond, (head coach at the Ding Junhui Academy in Sheffield), has said that he has nothing to fear at QSchool, and for Nigel Bond to be saying that. He’s that good. He’s fearless.”
Stan has managed to play some of the greats of the game already and even nearly beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in an exhibition match.
Jimmy White on Eurosport has also been waxing lyrical about this 14-year-old kid who can pot balls off the lampshades.
Watson also added that Stan’s safety game has improved dramatically since he’s been playing better players.
Watson organised an Exhibition match in Donegal, Ireland and that was the venue for the first-ever Scotch Doubles 147, which involved Champion of Champions Mark Allen and 2020 World finalist Kyren Wilson.
More recently, England’s Jamie Wilson turned pro through QSchool at the age of 15 and China’s Lei Peifan also 15. Alex Borg is the oldest player so far to have qualified to the tour, at 49 – a day before turning 50.
The EPSB’s Simon Berrisford added: “The last year has been tough for us all. Youngsters like Stan have missed out on valuable playing opportunities – a year and a half of junior events that they can never get back. We are determined not to lose these players when we’re back running our events. We are serious about junior snooker.”
Stan Moody will be one of many who begin the QSchool from the end of this month on the 27th May when the first event begins. There are three events, with 14 players who come through earning a place on the main tour.