Daniel Wells is a young man with a good attitude. He wants to be a top professional snooker player and is prepared to work hard to achieve his dream.
Wells was chosen in 2007 as the inaugural recipient of World Snooker’s Paul Hunter Scholarship. He received free practice facilities at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield as well as psychology sessions and various other off table benefits.
This was a big responsibility for him. Hunter was a much loved icon of the sport and Wells was required to conduct himself professionally and not let the programme down.
And he didn’t put a foot wrong all year. He was helpful and engaging in interviews, practised hard and earned promotion to the main tour from the Pontin’s International Open Series.
At 20, Wells has embarked on life as a professional. It is, of course, a tough learning curve at the qualifiers and he is not guaranteed to even remain on the circuit at the end of the season.
He has so far won two matches in three tournaments.
One thing in his favour is that, unlike many young players, his game is not based entirely around attack.
I interviewed him for Snooker Scene earlier this year and this is what he told me:
“Shot selection is important. A lot of players my age play the wrong shots but I’ve realised there are times when you have to play safe.
“If you go for everything, you won’t last on the main tour unless you’re an unbelievable player like Jamie Cope, who never misses.
“You need an all round game to compete.”
I think Wells is right and this approach leaves him better equipped him to deal with some of the grinders at Prestatyn than other circuit newcomers.
He started playing at ten but did not make a century until he was 14, which by the prodigious talents of young snooker players makes him something of a slow developer.
This matters little. He is on the professional circuit now and, if his time on the Paul Hunter Scholarship is anything to go by, has the will and determination to keep his place.