Tuesday, 4 October 2011

60 seconds with... Ben Harrison

Exciting young amateur player Ben Harrison has made a real name for himself this season through participation in the popular PTC series.

The tweeters among us will know plenty about Ben's bubbly character from his presence on our growing online snooker community.

He's a player who loves to attack and has already won plenty of fans off the back of his courageous game.

OnCue caught up with the young gun to see what makes him tick...

Hello Ben, and welcome. You've had some decent results and performances in the PTCs so far this seasonHow are you enjoying playing in them?

Yeah I've had a few decent results but not as good as I would have hoped to be honest. I'm playing all the remaining events now and my aim is to really push on and get one of those tour places through the Order of Merit.

I love playing in the PTCs. It gives me a fantastic opportunity to play against the professional players, which I didn't have a couple of years ago. I think it also gives the professionals a chance to see the new young players that are coming through. The pressure is all on them!

You're playing in more PTCs this season than last. Why was that? And what are your hopes for the rest of this season's series?

I only played in the English PTCs last season because of financial difficulty, but I've managed to earn a great logo deal with Adam Quigley from Pockets Promotions and another sponsor for the year with Snooker Island. It's great to finally have the pressure off my shoulders on the money side of things.

Last year, I did OK. I beat Barry Pinches 4-1 after he was number one in the Order of Merit after the first few events and I also beat a few other pros. I also lost 4-3 to Jamie Cope and Mark Allen, which was a great experience.

I really feel I can push on in them now and get a tour place, but I've just got to be patient and put the work in. Hopefully, it will come because I know I can do it. I've just got to put my practice game into tournament matches, which is probably the hardest thing to do, as the professionals will all tell you.

For my readers who don't know much about you, tell us about yourself? 

I'm 20-years-old and I'm from Westbury in Wiltshire. I practise with Stephen Lee and Adam Wicheard. I got into snooker when I was about 10. I used to go to Spain a lot and I used to love pool out there, so one day my parents took me down the local club and apparently I had a natural eye for it. It all went on from there.

I'm obviously playing in the PTC series and I'm on the look out for amateur tournaments all the time. There's also the Snookerbacker Classic coming up. That's new and should be good.

What are your strengths?

Break building and long potting. I love to play attacking snooker and I love going for the long ones, but I can play hard match stuff if I need to.

What are your weaknesses? 

My safety game is what I need to work on as well as my shot selection. I feel that against more experienced players they have just got the edge on the safety side of things. Shot selection also is key. You never see someone like John Higgins or Shaun Murphy take the wrong shot on. I don't think some people realise how important that is. 

Who is your favourite professional player?

I love watching Ronnie. When he's on it, I don't think there's any better player in the game. He's so fluent and everything is just effortless.

What is your proudest snooker moment?

I'm not sure really because I'm waiting to get on the professional tour and get going. That's when my proud moments will hopefully come. Although,  I did have a good year this year winning the Q School preparation series and reaching the southern amateur final. I've also got to a couple of finals. In the Star of the Future final a couple of years back, I beat Jack Lisowski and Ants McGill before losing to Michael White. I also lost in the England under-19 final to Adam Duffy.

I was proud of doing a 24-hour snooker marathon to raise £1,300 for Macmillan Cancer Support as well. 

What is your biggest snooker disappointment?

Losing in the latter rounds of Q School this year. I really felt I was ready to go on the tour especially considering the form I was in.

Things like that happen though. You just have to take it on the chin and get back up. There's no point in dwelling on it. What's done is done. I just have to put the work in and go again.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I want to be on the professional tour and at least in the top 32. Depending how my first couple of years go, my main goal is to get into the 16, but first I've got to get on, stay on and then push on.

If you didn’t play snooker, what would you be doing?

I'd probably be a footballer, a squash player or a tennis player. I loved all those sports growing up and I did play for Bristol Rovers as a youngster, but snooker got hold of me and I was hooked.

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