Several English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards players have been rewarded with golden ticket invitations into the upcoming Betfred World Snooker Championship qualifiers in Sheffield.
Taking place between the 21st to 28th June at the English Institute of Sport, these English amateur cueists are a part of a cosmopolitan 144-player entry that features 26 different nationalities from five continents. Looking to follow in the footsteps and recreate the memorable heroics that James Cahill performed in 2019, the EPSB invitees are all just four matches away from walking out at the iconic Crucible Theatre.
Opportunity has come knocking for these stars after their achievements in various international competitions over the past year. Ashley Hugill (reigning WSF Open champion) and Sean Maddocks (2020 WSF Junior Open and 2020 European Under-18 Championship finalist) will both be on the professional circuit from next season, but have the chance to claim a slice of the nearly £2.4 million prize money in this year’s blue-ribbon event.
Further English youngsters in the draw include teenagers Hayden Staniland (European Under-21 runner-up) and Connor Benzey (European Under-18 semi-finalist and last 16 in the WSF Open).
“I was shocked when I got the call from WST, but excited at the same time” said Worksop’s Staniland. “I’m really proud of what I have achieved and now I’m focused on practising as hard as I can. It’s every snooker player’s dream to play in the world championship and make the Crucible. I really hope I can make it all the way to the Crucible, although my ambition is to play to the best of my ability and gain valuable experience.”
The south coast’s Benzey is also relishing the chance to mix it with the best on the planet. “I was practising at the time when I got the call about the invite. I was shocked, but over the moon. Now it has sunk in I realise what a great opportunity it is for me. I am grafting in preparation; I would like to win my first match and just play well”.
Other EPSB members who are scheduled to travel to Sheffield are Oliver Brown, Patrick Whelan, Rory McLeod, Jake Nicholson (who will all also take part in the preceding Challenge Tour playoffs at the EIS), Chae Ross, Christopher Keogan, Sydney Wilson, Daniel Womersley (2019 Q-School list) and current World Women’s champion and number one Reanne Evans.
The EPSB would like to congratulate all our players who have been invited. We wish you all good luck!