I'll kick off with mine:
Pankaj Advani - He impressed greatly in his first season, the man has proven bottle in winning several world titles at various levels in both billiards and snooker (World Amateur snooker champ at 18) and is clearly a top cueman capable of big things in the snooker world. If ever there was a man to demonstrate the art of great safety and how it can be enjoyed from a viewers point of view then Pankaj is the man, and at times his cue ball control and the touch shots he plays to retain it are mind-blowing. As one of his peers said on twitter, "He just made a century keeping the white on a piece of string that was only 6 inches long!" I rate him as highly as being a potential Top 16 players and tournament winner.
Kurt Maflin - Kurt is a class snooker player who plays the type of game that is great to watch. He's a phenomenal break builder and exceptional potter, daring to take on the spectacular at high pressure moments. Kamikaze maybe but he gets a high %age and I just love watching him play the game and hope he pushes on to bigger things next season. He can do serious damage in any tournament he enters assuming he is blowing more hot than cold.
Liu Chuang - He reached the Crucible at 17 and has been serving his apprenticeship ever since. I thought last season he'd push on but maybe it will be this season. He is class and sooner or later he will come good. I will be keeping a close eye on him.
Luca Brecel - I don't need to say any more than I already have. The kid is class and one day he could become my favourite ever player. Don't be surprised if it takes him a couple of seasons yet to become fully established but he is capable of shocking the field and doing very well in one or two events per season as he showed in nearly beating Shaun Murphy in the UK Quarter-finals last season.
Dechawat Poomjaeng - You all remember him from the Crucible. Big personality, I think his ability has been under-estimated and expect him to match his Crucible showing and more next season. The shot in the decider against Maguire where he potted a red and jumped the corner of the pack to land on a colour should demonstrate what he brings to the game.
Thepchiya Un-Nooh - Another Thai player and a very exciting player to watch. This kid is seriously talented and is a devastating potter when he gets going. He plays fast and with flair so he will pick up lots of fans along the way.
Michael White - Will he do what Jamie Jones did after reaching his Crucible quarter-final and struggle next season or will he push on? I think the latter. Don't be surprised if he features in a lot of latter stages next season claiming some big scalps along the way. I was very impressed with how he already seems to have extinguished his short fuse and remain calm, and to be able to do that at such a young age demonstrates his strength of mind.
Anthony McGill - I think this lad is ready to shoot up the rankings having served out his apprenticeship. His run to the final of the PTC in his homeland is proof of his calibre, only the best can handle the pressure of the home fans and deliver their best form. Ants is a quality match player with a winning attitude so I expect him to kick on this season and attain the next level of performance.
Sam Baird - Sam was quality in qualifying for the Crucible but unfortunately looked like a lost child when thrust into the bear pit. He's clearly got an amazing talent and will build on the experience he's had so far to push on this season. I expect him to reach at least one big quarter-final.
Jack Lisowsi - You all know who he is. I don't need to explain why I think he's heading for big things and will be a big threat next season.
Ian Burns - Burns is the definition of solid. He doesn't wilt and is a very smart tactician capable of beating anyone on his day. He had a lot of good results last season and he is at the age where he has a lot of experience and will doubtless use it to push on to the next level. He is entering his peak years. He will be at a few venues next season without a doubt.
Ben Woollaston - Ben achieved one of his targets last season in reaching the Crucible, knocking out Ryan Day along the way. I said it before the event, he is ready whereas maybe a year ago he wasn't quite there. Like Burns he will reach a lot of venues and I'm sure will be on the tv screens quite a lot next season. Ben has a lot of bottle and is a fast and fluent player who is very easy to watch. We haven't seen the best of him yet by a long way.
Martin O'Donnell - He's had a year on tour which should work in his favour now for the second season. Maybe I over estimated how well he would do last season but I still rate him very highly and think he will push on to bigger things this season.
As for the big names obviously the main thing will be seeing how the likes of Selby and Robertson get on against Ronnie and Judd. For me they are the big four of this era. Also it will be interesting to keep an eye on Higgins to see if last season was a blip and if he finds the hunger he is still capable, or is he really on the way down?
Lastly Barry Hawkins. He played his best snooker in the biggest match of the year so I expect him to be riding high for the first part of the season and challenge for the big titles. I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets on.
So those are my names to watch.
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