Adam Duffy has confidence in his chances of becoming the first player from Sheffield to make it to the Crucible as he looks ahead to the Betfred World Championship qualifying rounds.
The 27-year-old from Eckington will be competing in the qualifiers - which run from this Wednesday to next at Ponds Forge - with all players needing to win three matches to reach snooker’s Theatre of Dreams.
Duffy came through Q School last season to regain his tour card and is currently ranked 108th in the world.
“I would just love to get to the Crucible, because I’m a local lad and I know how much the people of Sheffield would get behind me if I made it,” he said.
“It’s strange that there has never been a player from Sheffield who has got there. I go there every year anyway to watch my close friend Judd Trump and I always think to myself how great it would be to walk out there myself.
“The first match of the qualifiers is going to be massive because the winners get £8,000, which counts towards your ranking, and the losers get nothing. If I can get past that first round then the pressure will be off and I believe I can have a good run and make it to the Crucible.
“Everyone wants to get there.”
“My season could have been a lot better,” Duffy added.
“I have lost a few matches in deciding frames, when a bit of luck here or there could have turned those into wins and made the difference to my season. Things can change very quickly in snooker – look at Anthony Hamilton who has come from nowhere this year to win a ranking event. I’m happy with the way I’m playing and looking forward to the challenge.”
Two years ago, Duffy came within two frames of the Crucible. He knocked out Martin Gould and Sam Baird but then lost 10-8 to Jamie Jones in the final round.
“I remember how gutted I was after the match,” he said.
“I played really well to come from 8-5 down to 8-8, then Jamie made two good breaks in the last two frames. But I took the positives out of it because I had got so close.”
Jimmy White, former World Champions Ken Doherty, Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott, and up-and-coming Leeds cueman Oliver Lines will be among the 128 players in action at the qualifying rounds. Tickets are on sale now and cost just £10 per day. For details visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets.