Will start of WPC only two days away question is already being asked. Can UK ever produce a 9 Ball World Champion?
Although for some time UK has had many talented players none of them have ever really stepped forward and put UK on 9 ball map. What I mean by this is winning titles on world stage. Steve Knight did it in 90's with his win in World Pool Masters and you would have thought that this would have brought in more sponsorship and media awareness for game, but it did not have that effect. Other than Steve Knight only other player to win a tournament of note is Lee Chenman when this year he won Weert Open in Netherlands. But taking nothing away from him in what was a fantastic result, this tournament was not world class, it is just a club tournament with some world names thrown in.
What does UK need to create a world champion? Many people already agree that we make best cueists in world but majority of them play snooker as it is far more lucrative. So first thing is more sponsorship and therefore bigger prize funds. With sexy looking prize money you will then attract better players which in turn means that standard in this country will escalate.
The next thing is support from professional body, BPPPA have done a wonderful job in promoting game in 2 years that they have been governing body, but in my opinion enough is not being done to encourage players to take that next step. A professional sporting body should have a referee programme, it should also have a youth policy and a collection of National coaches that work with players that have been identified as best. These players should take part in training camps to focus them for an assault on world stage. Why not have a national cue sports academy? With this in place UK would then produce no end of talent that can compete on world stage. I am not trying to take anything away from Daryl Peach or Imran Majid who have done a stellar job overseas, it is just that they haven't quite gone that stage further and won a Eurotour or other international event.