New Season, New Start?

Over at TSF today there is an interesting thread with a quote from former world finalist Matthew Stevens in which he talks about snooker feeling like a job again with the increased amount of events on the 2010/11 calendar. Who else might benefit from the increased amount of events?

It might sound strange as with the lack of tournaments you would automatically assume that the players would try harder in the few that were staged, but for some it must have been hard to maintain their desire to practice when they would have to go for months between tournaments and perhaps this was evident in their performances. Indeed when taking into account the added pressure attached to every event due to the fact that there were so few opportunities and it is easy to see how some players could have struggled to bring out the best in their games.

Now that there are more tournaments though, which players could begin to string some results together and show just how good they are?

As hinted above, Welshman Matthew Stevens may well be one as after a difficult few seasons in which he has played very little snooker and enjoyed little success, he now has every reason to knuckle down and show the talent that he must surely still possess, somewhere. Up to 19th place on the latest provisional rankings he has every chance of moving back up into the top 16 at the next revision, though any potential return may be short-lived as he does have his points from his 2008 Bahrain final due to come off soon…

Another player who I suspect suffered from the lack of playing time was another Welshman, Ryan Day who after a few seasons of progress lost his way during 2009/10 and currently lies down in 15th on my recent list. So far his fortunes have not yet turned following a disappointing defeat at the first stage of last week’s Players Tour Championship Event One but like Stevens, he is too good a player to keep losing and I wonder if the chance to play more regularly might see him challenge for that elusive first ranking title once again.

After several years of trying and narrowly failing to break into the top 16, could this be the year that Jamie Cope finally does it? Just maybe it could be as he always seems to perform well at the smaller tournaments and as someone more than familiar enough with playing in cubicles, should have no trouble adapting to conditions at the Academy for the PTC events as demonstrated by his performance against Ronnie O’Sullivan last week.

Similarly I can see players such as Stuart Bingham and Joe Perry also excelling in such conditions and in Perry’s case particularly, see a player on the way back up after a difficult year or so in which the momentum gathered during 2008 seemed to fizzle out.

Those are just a few of my suggestions, some based on logic, some on gut feeling, but who do you think will benefit most from the changes currently taking place in snooker?