I have just returned from the annual grind of the snooker qualifying, as usual it is very hard and very nerve racking for all of the players. It never ceases to amaze me how many talented players never reach the final stages of any tournaments, I believe this may be a result of the current qualifying system. The good news is however that in the 97-98 season all this will change, especially for overseas players it is very likely that players from overseas will play most of their matches in their own region. This will be a giant leap forward for the expansion of the game worldwide, we cannot expect a player from overseas to spend 4 months of the year just qualifying. There are many other changes coming up which will hopefully bring snooker up alongside golf in worlwide popularity. If any visitors to this page have any ideas on how snooker could be made even more popular or exciting to watch perhaps they could e-mail me.
Englands Paul Hunter continued his early success during the final stages of the qualifying, ending up the most successful first season player next to Ronnie O'Sullivan and we all know how good he is. The name Paul Hunter is definitely one to watch in the future. Welsh hope Matthew Stevens has also had a very successfull campaign and he is my tip to be the best player out of Wales since Terry Griffiths. Overseas players again have showed that the gap is narrowing between the UK and the rest of the World. Players such as Yasin Merchant (India) and Noppadon Noppachorn (Thailand), Mario Geudens, Patrick Delsemme and Bjorn Haneveer (Belgium) and Mario Wehrmann (Netherlands) to name but a few. Over the next few seasons we will see many more overseas tournaments which will help in the overall expansion worldwide. If you live in a country where snooker is popular but you have never had a professional tournament held there then please e-mail me.
If you have recently e-mailed me and have not recieved a reply I do apoligise but I have had problems with my PC. I lost a lot of files but now I have renewed my PC so please keep writing. I am traveling with Mark King to the Grand Prix in Sunderland where he is playing James Wattana first round, so I will be giving you all the backstage gossip when I return.
The Fountain is a column written by Richard Fountain from England. He is the manager of Mark King, a new and promising player who is provisionally 37 in the new rankings for 95-96. He will be writing to you throughout the snooker year and will try to give you all the inside info on this great game. Please feel free to write him <firstname.lastname@example.org> with any questions you may have.
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