Duo Christopher Clifford and Shea Moore are jetting out to Cyprus tomorrow to represent Northern Ireland in the European Snooker Championships.
The pair will be competing against some of the top players in Europe, at Hilton Park Hotel in Nicosia later next week.
The tournament, which gets underway from Monday March 6 until March 8th, will be the Clifford’s first competition representing Northern Ireland.
The 15-year-old, who only really started to play the game competitively for the last two years, admits it was his father David who started him to play the game some four years ago.
“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be playing,” he said.
“Since that first night, I think a few years ago, I have really enjoyed it and play snooker every day of the week.
“I’m either practising or playing matches and I really enjoy it, so much so that I have stopped playing football.”
The Lisneal College pupil, who also thanked everyone who financially supported him at a fundraising event recently, concedes that Mark Allen is the player he inspires to be.
“I have played Mark’s son a few times and because of that I have met him and he’s a really nice guy, who always talks to you and gives you advice,” he added.
“I would love to reach his standard, but I know that I have to keep praciting.”
The teenager, who was named 2016 North West Young Player of the Year and also secured his first Northern Ireland ranking win a few months ago, can’t wait for next week’s competition.
“I’m really looking forward to the tournament in Cyprus,” he said.
“It’s going to be hard, but I have pracitsed a lot more over the last few weeks, so hopefully I do OK.”
As for Moore, this will be his second tournament playing for Northern Ireland afer he played in Poland a few years ago in both the U18 and U21 sections.
Moore, is also going into the tournament in Nicosia in good form, as he recently played his part in Cookie’s All Ireland Snooker Club Championship ‘B’ title success, in Killarney.