Top pundit John Parrott would love a Sheffield player to make Crucible history this year.
Joel Walker, Adam Duffy and Mitchell Travis are all set to compete at Ponds Forge next week in the qualifying rounds for the World Championship.
No player from the Steel City has ever featured in snooker’s biggest tournament but 1991 world champion Parrott hopes at least one of the trio will get through to the televised stages.
Parrott, who works for the BBC, told The Star: “It would be absolutely fantastic if one of the local lads got to play at the Crucible. I certainly wish them all the best. That would add extra spice to the tournament. It would certainly be great from our point of view for television.”
Youngsters Walker and Travis have enhanced their reputations this season, with Walker reaching the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open while Travis, who turned pro in February, battled his way through to the third round of the UK Championship back in December.
Parrott said: “If I were advising either of them, I would be telling them to focus on their weaknesses and not their strengths. If there is a department of their games which isn’t up to scratch with the other, they need to work double hard on that. If you’ve got something now missing, you will get found out at the highest level.”
The qualifiers run from April 8 to 16. The final round will be on April 15 and 16, with the winners to go through to the Crucible to be drawn at random against the top 16 seeds. Jimmy White and Steve Davis will figure in the early stages of the event. Tickets are priced at £10 per day. For more information, call 0114 2233777 or visit www.sivtickets.com. The worlds start on April 19.
Parrott, will join forces with Tony Knowles to take on Stephen Hendry and Joe Johnson in the Snooker Legends tour, which gets underway in Sheffield. The event takes place at the Crucible on Thursday April 10 and the action starts at 7pm.
Call 0114 249 6000 or log on to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.