Following his defeat to Barry Hawkins at the World Championship yesterday, Mark Allen gave an interesting press conference in which amongst other things, he discussed how much he is looking forward to working with Terry Griffiths again next season.
But who will join him in that association from this summer?
Following his long-term relationships with firstly 110sport and more recently Paul Mount’s On Q Promotions management group, for the first time next season, Terry Griffiths will effectively have a free choice of players to work with.
Having worked with Terry for the vast majority of his professional career, Mark Allen confirmed yesterday that he will resume his relationship with the 1979 world champion from next season, having not had that this term following his decision to part company with On Q a year ago.
For me this comes as no surprise and Mark told me earlier in the season how important his relationship with Terry was to him.
“All my professional career bar the very first season I have worked closely with Terry.” Allen said. “I’ll definitely not rule out working with him again in the future and I don’t think that he would rule out working with me again in the future, but obviously with the contract he has with On Q and those players, it is not possible for us to work together at the minute.
“But we are still very close, Terry is more than a coach to me, we can still talk on the phone but working on the table is just out of the window at the minute.
“Over the last lot of years we have got very close, I see him as more of a friend now than I do as a coach, obviously he is very good to have on the table too.
“I think the last few years in particular we have been working on more things away the table about how to approach things a bit better, get mentally prepared that way, instead of all of the work on the table.”
Following his defeat to Hawkins last night, Mark reiterated the closeness of their relationship and offered some insight as to how he hopes that resuming his relationship with Griffiths will help him next season.
“To be honest the one place I have really struggled is not having Terry Griffiths. There are certain times in matches, at 11-9 up against Barry at the interval I am sure he could have pointed me in the right direction.
“Barry had Terry in his corner for this match and it is a big asset to have, I don’t think people realise how influential he has been for me. It will be great to work with him again next season, and hopefully it will be on to bigger and better things.”
Perhaps most interesting however was that Mark revealed that as well as himself, there is one other player also in line to work with Terry again next season and that it may be that there will be as many as ‘five or six’ players who he will probably look to work with once his association with On Q has formally come to an end.
Who might those players be?
Obvious candidates from the outside are those who have worked with him recently at On Q and in press conferences have been quick to cite the help that Terry has provided to them in recent years when asked about their recent form.
Players falling into that category are Barry Hawkins and Mark Davis, as well as Joe Perry who was also at 110sport back in the day.
Another who springs to mind to me is Xiao Guodong, who again worked with Terry at both 110 and On Q, as well as Welsh youngster Michael White who again has been part of both of those stables in recent seasons.
Could there be any more surprising choices, players who have perhaps not been part of either of those groups, but would be interested in taking advantage of the help that Terry can provide on the mental side of the game?
Time will tell, but as Paul Mount recently told this website:
“I wish Terry all the success in the world and recommend any player wishing to back themselves to invest a few quid and enjoy the ride.”