Official Fergal O'Brien Website

Season Preview 08/09

In July I started practising and preparing for the new season in my new club in Celbridge, Co. Kildare.
They say a change is as good as a rest, well, I've had both with a new club and a great summer break.
The first ranking event is the Northern Ireland Trophy in Belfast, starting in August,
where I have happy memories from last season.

Before then, apart from practising I have a couple of tournaments to help my preparations.
On the 19th/20th of July I travel to Pontins, Prestatyn for the third Pro-Am of their series.
I didn't play in the first two as I was still on my break but with the top 64 qualifying for the Grand Final
in the new year I could do with some wins and points on the board.
Regardless of how I do, it will be good to get some match practice
and get rid of some competitive cobwebs early on in the season.

Then, after that, I play in the Lucan Racing Classic for eight of Irelands professionals.
Once again I organised this after last years success and, with help from Joe Delaney
who also plays in Celbridge, I have managed to get some very good sponsorship
so there will be good money as well as good match practice for all the players.

There will be at least seven ranking events this season
(check the calendar in "Latest" section for updates)
but, hopefully, one or two may be added before we start.

Being in the top 32 means I will only have to win one match
to qualify for the venues of each tournament except Northern Ireland,
where 48 players (top 32 and 16 qualifiers) take part in the final stages in Belfast.
There will also be the Irish Professional Championships as well as qualifying for the Saga Masters
where the winner gets a wild card to the masters in Wembley in January.

There should also be some pro-ams and professional tounaments here in Ireland to keep us sharp.
I would love to see the day when there is an Irish professional tour,
with four or five events played over week-ends around the country
to showcase the snooker talent that Ireland has currently
(five top 32 players plus seven other professionals).

Finally, thanks to everyone for their letters and e-mails
and please keep them coming during the season
and I hope I can be of some help to you all.


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