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A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby Tubberlad

Since Ding Junhui in 2005, I've noticed a lack of really outstanding young players making the breakthrough on the big stage.

In the past we've seen many top young stars burst onto the scene. Hendry, Davis and White in the 80's, O'Sullivan winning the UK in 1993 and Higgins winning three rankers in a season despite still being in his teens. And we also had Hunter and Stevens doing reasonably well at a young age.

The only men to do that this decade were Murphy and Ding, but Murphy has only won two ranking titles since winning the World Championship while Ding hasn't won a ranking event for three years.

A young up and coming Welsh Player called Jamie Jones has fallen off the tour since his Grand Prix debut in 2006. Michael White has struggled, but thankfully his form seems to have improved of late. Luca Brecel looks extremely good, but will he find the breakthrough tough?

Why has the ammount of young stars dried up of late? Is it simply down to these players not being as good, and they cant cut it with the more established pros? Is it down to a lack of interest among the younger generation? An unfair system that fails to promote young talent (David Gray being given a wildcard if my memory serves me correctly, kind of defeats the purpose)? Is it simply down to too much expectation and pressure being put on them? Or am I just imagining this lack of young snooker talent?

Thoughts please!

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby Roland

My view is that there are still players of great talent emerging, but it's harder for them to reach the higher echelons because the competition in the mid-ranks is so high.

Players like Judd Trump, Jamie Cope, Michael White and others would've found it easier to reach the televised stages in the early 90's which is why back then you had break through youngsters getting on tv more. However Liang Wenbo has shown everyone that it's not impossible to rise quickly through the rankings if you've got a special talent.

I think the whole system needs a rethink. The fact that most qualifiers are played in Prestatyn means you have a large number of stalwart match players who are very experienced at the venue making it a tough learning curve for all youngsters. I'm sure in a lot of cases some talent is nullified by the whole process. I hope that in due course with the spread of snooker across Europe and Far East Asia, that qualifying places to the big events will be available via different routes in different countries.

I strongly believe that those who run snooker need to think of ways to get the future stars on tv at an early age and this is one way of bypassing the current system and making it fairer for foreign players to develop their own style in their own surroundings without having to spend time acclimatising to North Wales!

However I'm sure there will be strong opposition from the many players who have earned their right to be on tour to the idea of some players bypassing the Prestatyn qualifiers. But at the end of the day, snooker doesn't owe anyone a living and for the sport to prosper and thrive in future, some things need to change.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby MED

no sonny you had breakthrough youngsters reach the latter stages then because they were better.

in 2005 which isn't early 90s Ding at 17 did it and won three ranking tournaments if he could do it why cant Trump etc ?

it isn't harder but players seem to lose more to journeymen than ever before. through problems in their game and cant quite put players that can slow down play away.

in the early 90s you had teenagers that was going to go on to be all time greats in the game my thinking is Cope and Trump despite their talent will fall well short of that mark.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby NedB-H

Does anyone know about Luca Brecel? Young Belgian player, has been winning tournaments 5 years above his current age range and has beaten Joe Perry, Jimmy White and Ken Doherty in competition at the age of 14. Definite one to watch for in a few years.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby JohnFromLondonTown

I think you might find that there will be a bigger 'uptake' in the game from players that used to play. Older boys coming through / back.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby NedB-H

JohnFromLondonTown wrote:I think you might find that there will be a bigger 'uptake' in the game from players that used to play. Older boys coming through / back.

Are we talking returns to the circuit, a la Drago & Wattana? Or resurgences from players who never dropped off the tour, a la Harold?

Also, can you give us some names?? :mrgreen:

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby Roland

Here's another theory.

I think it's fairly obvious that when the WPBSA opened the gates in 1991 there was a whole generation of teenagers / early 20's who had been brought up in the boom years of the 1980's and that's why the standard shot up. Hendry would've been the first to emerge being a few years older than the others, but obviously O'Sullivan, Higgins and Williams were the cream of their generation. The reason they are so good is because there were that many teenagers playing snooker that from a big population, the very best are always going to be exceptional.

And then this controversial theory:

Many people switched off when Hendry dominated the early to mid/late 90's because it was so obvious he would win. No one could touch him, he looked impossible to beat for years and as a consequence a lot of youngsters were turned off and never took up the game hence a lull in British talent from the age where Hendry was on tv a lot in their early years.

I honestly didn't meet a Hendry fan until about 1997, and he was Scottish! Everyone seemed to hate him, and he was the on tv a lot, and I don't think it was because he was Scottish or kept beating Jimmy White, I think people genuinely didn't like him, and in a way through no fault of his own, he helped to kill off a lot of the next generation.

And with the advent of Ding in China and Luca Brecel from the Eurosport region, I would hazard a guess and say that in 10 to 15 years time we will see waves of players from their countries entering the ranks.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby Wildey

i think its a combination of what sonny said....

during the 80s Steve Davis was all conquering juggernaut even more dominant than hendry because he was the first professional player really. he was the model profesional so the thought of anyone coming along that had a even more devastating game and to start dominating and win more than Davis was unthinkable at that time. then along came hendry and possibly people or young kids did think OMG Not again.

persanally i think that isnt the reason that kids arent coming through and snooker halls are emptier.... in the 80s there was 4 TV Channels and crappy video games and no internet so kids had to look around for things to do today everything is at the click of a button at home.

and the kids that are comming through have the wrong atetute.....they come in to matches thinking standards are high thats why i lost some you win some you dont......hendry would never in a million years think like that if he was 16 years of age today will to win and a competative edge is built in to someone you cant teach that.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby MED

Seifer island hatah wrote:If anything, Hendry's ability was an inspiration, same way as Alex and Jimmy were, and how O'Sullivan and Higgins currently are.

i think you probably right if you see someone play the game well you want to go out and copy them, i think Hendry was a inspiration. what happened in 1991 and 1992 the floodgates opened and the cream could get so much match practice at the Norbreck Hotel Blackpool. where as today its closed shop and they are drawn very early against the top 64 players which are tough match players and they fall back down in to the PIOS where its dog eat dog getting out of there to make progress in the game.

Re: A lack of young talent coming through?

Postby Seifer Almasy

Hendry and Alex Higgins inspired Ronnie and J. Higgins to better themselves, just as White and Alex did with Hendry. Now Higgins and O'Sullivan have done the same for Trump and any other player to follow.

The benchmark rises...although for utmost ability I can't see anyone beating O'Sullivan, and for decade long consistency, I can't see anyone beating hendry.