27.7.09

NEW SEASON BUILD-UP: THE YOUNG GUNS

Continuing my look ahead to the new season with a focus on the younger members of the professional circuit...

I’d back Mark Allen to kick on from his fine end to last season, when he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan en route to the Betfred.com World Championship semi-finals.

Allen has always been a great talent bestowed with considerable self belief. His confidence will be at an all time high right now – as he proved by winning the Jiangsu Classic in June – and he could well lift more silverware in the next year.

His downfall in the past has been keeping his frustration at bay, but there were few signs of self implosion at the Crucible and Allen must surely be one to follow this season.

Judd Trump has been thrown into the lion’s den of the Premier League, which will be a great experience for him playing live on television against some of the biggest names of the sport.

Trump’s chief problem thus far in his career has been reproducing the excellent form he’s shown at the qualifiers at the main venues.

Time is on a side – he’s still a teenager – but those who love to carp from the sidelines will soon be on his back if he doesn’t continue his upward progress this season.

The Bristol lad is in the top 32 for the first time. His target this year must surely be a top 16 place.

Jamie Cope seems to have stalled a little since he appeared in two ranking finals during the 2006/07 campaign.

He looked a certainty for the top 16 back then but hasn’t quite made the breakthrough. Like many players of his age, Cope is a frighteningly good long potter and break-builder but is yet to develop the sort of all round game a player can fall back on when they are not firing on all cylinders.

Liang Wenbo is another good example of this. When it all works for him, he looks deadly but, when it doesn’t, he can look average.

Liang won the £50,000 first prize in the recent Beijing Challenge and has the potential to be a top 16 player but this, of course, does not mean that he will be one.

His fellow Chinese Ding Junhui feels like a veteran but is still only 22. In beating Liang at the World Championship he suggested he had finally got himself out of a worrying slump in form but could not sustain this in the second round against Stephen Hendry.

You don’t win the UK Championship at the age of 18 without being an excellent player. Ding’s problems are not with his game but his mental state. If he can sort them out he will be a winner again.

Daniel Wells won three matches 10-9 before losing another to be denied a place at the Crucible in his debut season.

Wells does mix attack and defence and this was one of the reasons he managed to carve out enough results to keep his place on the tour.

David Morris is yet to set the world alight but has crept up to 58th in the rankings and has the ability to go further but needs a breakthrough – a good run in a big event.

Snooker needs its young players to be doing well. Sports need to renew themselves with fresh faces to avoid the accusation they have stagnated.

For this reason, I wish the circuit’s young guns all the best for the coming season.

31 comments:

eddie.1 said...

unbelievable the new season starts week today and no detail of the draw for the shanghai masters.

how is people going to organise days off to go there if they dont know when say Drago,Jimmy or anyone else is playing ?

incompitant fools.

Anonymous said...

Great post, David, good insight into the main young guns in the game today.

Craig

Anonymous said...

Judd Trump just cant hack it under pressure at the moment.

in a small pond he is the big fish but in the shark infested waters of the top of the game he is no bigger than a Goldfish.

he won the Championship League because it was played without a Audience if that had been played with a Audience he wouldnt have won it.

eddie.1 said...

so the draw is out at last

Anonymous said...

The draw is on Global-Snooker

Anonymous said...

David, i dont pass out compliments on here about the quality of blog posts too often as usually it depends on someones mood or whether your opinions are shared or opposed.

in this case your blog post was absolutely spot on and is one of my favourites.

ta

Anonymous said...

Judd Trump is snooker's greatest prospect since Stephen Hendry.

Anonymous said...

I disagree about Judd Trump and have said on numerous occasions that there is far too much pressure being put on him, I'd even go as far as to say Dave is a little bit guilty of this. He currently needs multiple chances to win frames, unlike Allen and to some extent Cope who to me are now looking like top 8 material. It will be interesting to see how Daniel Wells gets on this season as there are many tipping him for the top. But for the time being my message would be lay off trumpetting Trump as he is far from the finished article and needs a good coach to sort out elements of his game, all too often too much pressure is put on young 'stars' only for them to burn out before reaching their full potential.

Anonymous said...

At Trumps age Hendry was UK Champion,British Open champion,Grand Prix champion and Masters Champion and played 4 times at the crucible reaching a semi final.

Dave H said...

I've never put any unreasonable predictions on Judd's shoulders. I've never once made any specific prediction about anything he will do in his career and have always defended him against the carpers and those who want him to fail for their own reasons.

Anonymous said...

its time Trump starts to deliver

we cant say forever he is young and we shouldnt expect much from him.

sorry that time has passed its time for him to stand up and be counted now.

he will be starting his 5th season this year ok he is stil young but hes got 4 years experiance suerly time for Results.

people might say well he reached the Grand Prix semi finals.

in that tournament he had a bye because Dott pulled out and Perry and Ronnie played by far theire worst match of last season against him almost as if it was a fix that he had a run the standard was so poor.

Dave H said...

Players develop at their own speed. Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy didn't win ranking titles until they were 22.

They are now respectively second and third in the world.

Anonymous said...

Players do develop at different speeds but with the two you mention I'd argue that Murphy has a better natural temperament than Judd Trump and always looked like the complete player, if a little raw. Maguire, hasn't exactly kicked on since his first run of successes has he? OK his ranking doesn't lie in terms of progress in tournaments, but is someone who consistently reaches the final stages without winning so often really to be considered the genuine Number 3 in the world? I don't think there are many that would argue that he is a better player than Higgins, O'Sullivan, Selby or Murphy is there? I'd personally even place him below Ali Carter, who granted, underpeformed when the two met at Sheffield. For me, Maguire is more in the mix outside of the big boys along with the likes of Carter, Robertson, Day, Fu, Ding at his best and Allen. He's not noticeably better than any of them in my opinion. Perhaps Judd may become the next serial semi-finalist in a few years time?

I have no desire to see him fail as he will obviously be a big draw for snooker if he's successful, I just would not want to see the media hype him up above his capabilities is all.

Matt said...

I find the criticism that Trump gets in some places quite strange. He had a really strong season last year, becoming much more consistent and moving up into the top 32, yet he gets criticised for not winning ranking events yet.

I've seen him at the qualifiers and he is playing some good stuff, he just needs the big time experience and he's going to get that from the Premier League this year. That defeat to Stephen Lee at the EIS will have taught him a lot too.

So what if Hendry had titles galore at his age, he's the most successful player to have played the game, just because he has not reached his standards yet does not mean that he can't be a good player. There is hardly a player in the game who can compare favourably to him.

I think he'll continue his progression this year and end the season top 20, quite possibly top 16.

Dave H said...

Well said, Matt.

Strikes me as rather mean spirited.

Anonymous said...

MATT

thats a joke mate...

he doesent look like he will play well at the venues..he is like a little boy lost sitting in his seat.

im hoping he steps it up this season but to be honest he has shown nothing to me that he can...

if people think winning the CL is proof of anything then they deluded.

Matt said...

Well we shall see but I'm not prepared to write him off at 19 on the back of his best season yet. Quite the opposite.

ray grall said...

hi box in wiltshaire came across a snooker player and his name was judd trump watch him play in kysham and on the tour the year world snooker be came open or they abouts .watch him play at jester in swindon in the first round.he was on a break. as the frame came to the end trump was on a break of a 112 .perfect on the pink to roll throuth for the black and a 112 break.but he potted the pink into the corner pot and played the shot back of the center pot for a perfect shot on the black and a break of 112 and he was 12 years old and l have bet 5 pounds on every match that has been on main tour and have got a jar full of betting slips but one of 500 to 1 for judd to wim world championship bye his 21 first birthday .so good speed and win

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