Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mark Allen on... Looking to the future

It's not unusual to hear Mark Allen described as a nearly man on the baize.

His CV is thorough. He's played in a UK Championship final and reached the last four of both the World Championship and The Masters.

Picture by Monique Limbos
But with only one ranking title to his name, it's fair to say he hasn't quite hit the heights his vast talents are truly capable of.

Aged 26, he still has time on his side. But to wrap up his exclusive interview with OnCue, he offers a brutal assessment of his underachievement and goes in search of the things he needs to do to become a winner...

I've never been one to try to paint a rosey picture. I'm a realist.

I can't say anything more than I've done OK in my career so far.

I can be my own worst enemy for not putting as much effort in as some of my rivals and I fear I could end up looking back on my career and thinking I could have done a lot better.

The problem is that I've got a life away from snooker and I want to do well in that as well as on the table. I have to find a way to achieve both.

I'm looking to go one better in one of the majors in the next few years and I've had a lot of conversations with Terry Griffiths about how I make the step to the next level.

We agree that practice doesn't have the same importance as it used to because there are so many tournaments.

When there were just six or seven events per season it was hard to stay sharp, but now we're so busy and it's the other way round where you need to rest up at the right times. My time between tournaments used to be about making sure I did enough practice but now it's become about seeing friends and family while you get the chance, and just putting a bit of practice in to stay in form.

The amount of tournaments mean you should be sharp no matter what you're doing between matches.

I won my first ranking title at the World Open last season but that's not the be all and end all for me because I think I should have won one long before this. It felt more like a relief than a sense of pride.

I'm aware that this is just one tournament. I won't be proud of winning on. I want more but I understand that you have to get one before you can get two, three and even more.

The World Open will always be a fond memory of mine but the fines I received after the tournament for my comments at the start of the competition don't say the same. A lot of bad memories come from the World Open but the win helped to overshadow that.

I think to challenge for the majors my safety needs to get a little bit better. Everyone can make breaks and pot balls at this level. It's about creating more opportunities through good safety that will help you to compete with the very best players in the world.

I've got better but still need to improve.

I'm pretty good at not losing too many first round matches but I'd like to be more consistent at getting further into tournaments. I hope when you judge me at the end of this year, I have managed to do that and can celebrate another trophy.

Thank you for reading my columns on OnCue. Enjoy the rest of the season!

No comments:

Post a Comment