Reanne Evans is comfortably the best ladies snooker player at the moment, having just won her 7th consecutive World title at the tender age of just 25. Following hard on her heels though is 14 year old Hannah Jones. Her father Mark recently posted a selection of clips of Hannah through the ages on the forum and you can see that at the age of 9 she already had a very natural cue action. An interview with Mark will follow soon but in the mean time, meet Hannah!
Can you tell us how you got involved in snooker?
I was 5 years old and I hated shopping, so I would go to the club with my dad and watch him potting. He got me a crate from behind the bar and then I started potting and it lifted off from there.
Can you remember your first tournament and how did you do?
My first major tournament was the World Ladies which I first played in when I was 9. I can’t remember it that well but I remember being excited when I walked through the door and seeing everyone and thinking “Wow!”
Who were the names you spotted to make you feel like that?
Reanne was there and Maria Catalano and Emma Bonney.
What’s the ladies scene like as a junior? Do you have many rivals in your age group?
Not many because there’s not many young girls playing. There’s Naomi Clare who’s a friend of mine, and Jasmine Bolsover and Jodie Symes, and that’s about it to be honest. It would be nice to have more young girls interested.
I guess it’s seen as not very cool though for young girls?
Have you enjoyed the Pink Ribbon?
Yes it’s been great fun. The tables are lovely and it’s good experience.
What do you think of the pockets?
What’s it like playing the junior boys? Do they get embarrassed when you beat them?
If I know them then they take it on the chin, but if I don’t know them some of them get a bit wound up that they’ve lost to a girl!
How often do you have tournaments to play in?
When the season kicks off it’s pretty busy with both the ladies and the junior tour and I’ve got local leagues as well. But when the season dies down like after this Pink Ribbon I’ve not really got anything to play in until the season starts back up again around September time.
What are you going to do in the meantime to keep yourself tuned in?
Practice, practice and more practice! Playing people and learning.
I see on your website you recently played in an event in Syria. Do you do much globetrotting?
I’ve played in Thailand, Belgium, Syria and Austria but Austria was billiards.
Did you see any growth areas for ladies snooker in any of those places?
In Thailand there’s a young girl called Nietcha and she’s very good and I’m sure there are some more young players as well but I’m not really aware of them yet. And there are a few ladies in China as well.
Have you been to China?
No but I would love to go!
Reanne is obviously the best ladies player at the moment and is a good friend of yours, has she also been an inspiration?
Yes. She helps me out a lot and lets me go to her house and play on her table which is nice of her. It’s better practice for me on a better table.
What do you think of her attempts to play on the Main Tour?
She’s done well for her first try at it. I think if she keeps practicing and keeps trying for it she’ll be able to do it.
Do you think she should have been given a second wildcard because she’s only just getting used to the playing conditions and level of opponent now?
Hmmm… no! You would be more proud of yourself if you worked hard and got a place on merit.
Good answer! So what are your hopes for the future? Do you see yourself having a career as a snooker player?
I hope so! I’m always working for the World Champion goal but there’s a long way to go yet.
What about playing on the Main Tour yourself now Reanne has opened the door and shown the way?
(laughs) I would love to do that and be up there with all the top boys, yes!
What was your most satisfying win?
Winning the World Ladies Juniors the second time around. Obviously the first time it felt awesome but the second time I was under more pressure because I wanted to retain it, and it just felt amazing afterwards.
Are there any matches you were particularly disappointed at losing?
There’s been loads. Usually if it’s on the last black! I think I’m a good loser though, I move on and think of the next match rather than dwell too much.
How do your friends at school react to you being a snooker player?
They support me all the way. The whole school does, all the teachers and everyone.
Do you give presentations in assemblies and things like that?
Yes I do that. They put my face up on a board in assembly which I didn’t enjoy!
Who are your favourite players in the men’s game?
I like watching Steve Davis. He’s a lot like me when he plays and he’s got a very good game. But I like all the players, I can’t pick one, I enjoy watching them all. I’m friends with some of them so I can’t pick some and not others!
You’re around the junior game, who are your tips among the boys to be a future top player? I was impressed with Ross Muir for example.
Yes Ross Muir has improved loads since I last saw him. But again I can’t pick one out because there are a lot of good juniors and I know them all so if I don’t mention some they’ll get upset!
What do you like to do away from snooker?
I like writing fiction. You wouldn’t think so looking at me but I do write a lot.
So you’ll have a book out in future then?
Hopefully! I’ve starting writing one so who knows?
Is the lead role a lady snooker player by any chance?
(laughs) No, it’s about…
Mark Jones (cameo): Don’t tell him your secrets!
OK Hannah, thanks a lot and good luck!
You can visit Hannah’s website here.