Gilbert considered retirement

World number 51 Dave Gilbert has admitted in an interview with the Tamworth Herald that he came “pretty close” to quitting snooker at the end of last season. Click below to read about why he chose to continue and how he hopes a change of attitude will prove rewarding…

Dave told the Tamworth Herald:

“Last year was rubbish and I wasn’t going to play this year.

“I was pretty close to jacking it in because I had lost all enjoyment for the game.

“I was getting too angry with myself, which was no good for me or anyone around me.

“I wasn’t in a good frame of mind and used to come away from matches knowing I had chucked them away.

“Now I’m just trying to concentrate on my game rather than thinking about everything else.

“I still get angry but I know when I’m about to get angry and I’ve got a word that I say to myself that makes me calm down.

“I still get fiery and I don’t want to lose that but before I was just going over the top.

“I’d play a good shot, break into the pack and, say, a red would drop in and I’d foul – I’d get wound up by something like that and that would be it for me.

“I suppose, though, I realised I still love the game, I do love snooker – I had just been disappointed with how rubbish I have done.

“I have never achieved my potential, never got to where I should be in the game but it’s no good just saying it, you have to do something about it.

“Going out the top 50 didn’t help – it means another qualifying round every tournament and lots more hard work.

“But I put myself in that spot and I’ve got to get myself out of it – I don’t want to be in the top 48, I want to be in the top 16.”

“I made the decision to carry on and I’d only really been practicing three weeks.

“But against Alan it was the best I’ve played in years – I was getting a chance, taking it and winning the frame from there.

“I’ve never qualified for the Far East before and against Wenbo I’ll be playing in front of millions which is brilliant for me.

” I’d much rather be playing in front of millions than at Pontins in front of one man and his dog.

“My target is to make every venue and if I do that, then at some point I am going to do some damage at the venue itself.”

I must admit that while I knew that he was not happy with his game earlier on in the season, I am surprised to hear that he felt this badly about it, particularly following his great run to the last 16 of the Welsh Open where he managed to beat both Mark Williams and Joe Perry at the venue stage. Furthermore even though he missed out on the World Championship at the Crucible, he was very unfortunate to come up against one of the form players in the qualifiers, Martin Gould, and against most other players from the 49-64 would most likely have progressed given how he played over those two days.

Obviously though he has higher ambitions than simply hanging around in the middle of the rankings and having been on the tour for a number of years now, needs to start climbing up the list sooner rather than later if he is to meet them. Hopefully those victories in front of the cameras in Wales will give him the confidence boost that he needs and he can do himself justice against home favourite Liang Wenbo in Shanghai next month…