'Rocket' trains hotshot Joel, 16

Snooker hotshot Joel Walker enjoyed a coaching master-class with his mentor Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, on Thursday June 24.

Joel, 16, of Charnock, Sheffield, was selected by O’Sullivan as the winner of the inaugural Rileys Future Stars of Snooker nationwide competition in April.

Joel pocketed a Rileys cheque for £5,000 to spend on developing his game. The prize also includes training sessions with three-time World Champion O’Sullivan.

The session came ahead of the World Snooker Open – billed as the FA Cup of Snooker – where Joel has been granted a wildcard entry.

He is one of 32 amateur players who will compete for the chance to take on the professionals at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield from August 21 to 24.

Joel said: “It was great to train with Ronnie. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him.

“I feel on good form. I’m looking forwards to the World Snooker Open and hope I can make an impression.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan is snooker ambassador for Rileys, the UK’s largest pool and snooker operator with 120 clubs nationwide.

The ‘Future Stars’ competition, sponsored by Rileys, was the brainchild of O’Sullivan, who wants to see young players in this country get every chance to make their way in the game. More than 1,000 players aged 16 or under entered in 2010.