For a few years now the UK has produced very few young and talented snooker players due to the dying amateur game here. Most of the young talent is coming out of China and other countries in the far east, leaving the UK and Ireland way behind.
Some argue that this is the result of World Snooker not pumping enough resources into the amateur game here at home, while others argue that a snooker club is not a viable business especially with the cost of real-estate.
Regardless, talent is still coming through and it’s been a refreshing few days watching 15 year old Jackson Page.
Jackson being 15 is still in school and currently studying for his GCSE’s. He’s had to take the week off to play in this weeks Welsh Open as a wild-card amateur.
Like many champions before him such as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ken Doherty, Shaun Murphy etc, schooling has come second on the list of prioraties, the first being snooker.
“I am doing GCSE’s but the school knows this [snooker] could be the career for me” Jackson says.
Jackson Page beat word No.123 Jason Weston in the first round and then went on to beat No.78 John Astley in the second round. His next match against Judd Trump on the television table will be his biggest test yet.
“I remember watching Judd Trump when I was a kid, he was at Newport and played Ronnie O’Sullivan on one of the TV tables”, Page said.
“I knew I could come here [Welsh Open] and get far and I looked at the draw and saw Judd and knew I could play him so my eyes were on that”, Page went on to say.
He has already won himself £3500 for reaching the third round. That could be increased to £6000 if Page were to beat Trump.
Page has already won the crowd, but under pressure from a snooker superstar and live on television, it’s a big ask for the youngster but anything can happen in a best of 7 match.