Burden’s Blog: Back on Tour

On Q Promotions

Returning to the tour this season for the first time since 2007/8, former world number 38 Alfie Burden has very kindly agreed to blog for Pro Snooker Blog this season, starting with his first entry below. Thanks both to Alfie and also on On Q’s Sarah Mount who has set this up for me! Stay tuned also for upcoming blogs from another two players.

Over to Alfie…

It’s Alfie Burden here I’ve been asked to write a blog each month about what i have been up to so here goes with my first!

It has been a busy month, which it always is. I am really pleased with how my season is going so far although it could have been better. I lost two big deciding games, one against Andrew Higginson to get to Shanghai which was disappointing as I was one ball away from winning the match and also against Marco Fu in the World Open despite having been 2-0 up!

However, all in all, if someone had said to me at the start of the season I would be ranked 57 at this stage I would have bit their arm off and taken it. Obviously with deciders they can go either way and I’m sure by the end of the season I will have a few go my way.

When I look back to a year ago when I was playing on the PIOS tour it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way since then. I won the World IBSF title which won me my pro ticket back and I am delighted.

I put the upturn in my career down to a change in myself. It started with me losing my driving license which I think has ended up being for the best as I was forced to move my practise table to my local David Lloyd gym which is a 5 minute walk from my house. It enabled me to start putting the hours in and also, being based in a gym, I was able to get fit again which helps me mentally. I now realise that doing the right things away from the table pay off as in the past I’ve been known to be a bit wild!

Alfie with his manager Paul Mount

As well as a change in my attitude towards my practise and lifestyle, I also signed with Paul Mount and his On Q Promotions management team at the start of this season. Paul and his team are giving me all the support I could need to achieve what I want to achieve.

I have decided not to set myself any targets and I am just taking one match at a time and seeing where it takes me. Having turned professional 14 years ago I saw first hand the decline in playing opportunities over the last 6-7 years. Barry Hearn has certainly given me something to get excited about with the new PTC events and the tour structure. On top of that, Paul Mount’s team and the fantastic facilities he has built in Gloucester at the South West Snooker Academy also really excites me as I’m sure in the coming months there will be opportunities to play big events there also.

On a few lighter notes:

We have a little team going called TEAM AB, which has plenty of banter going on-all good hearted of course. In the team we have Stavros Clegg, The Stinking One and Curt the Muppet! They are my pals and they support me coming to as many tournaments as they can. I will be sure to keep you updated on TEAM AB goings on.

My sister Faye has also been a massive support and was a member of TEAM AB. Faye is now working for On Q Promotions for the lovely Sarah Mount. According to Faye, all the other 18 players put together wont be as hard work as me (i don’t know what she means) ha ha.

On Q Promotions

I’d like to give a shout out of the month to Paul Clegg. He’s one of the main reasons I have turned my career around. He turned up at all my PIOS events and kept on supporting me and didn’t stop believing in me. It just shows it really has been a team effort, thanks Stavros I really appreciate it mate!

On a personal note:

Unfortunately I lost my Nan and it was a hard time but I did manage to stay focused and kept going. Love you nan, will miss you x

My wife Jacey and my 2 kids Bow and Lene had to go on holiday to Greece without me as there was no time to go away before the kids went back to school with the tournament dates. They had a great time. I did manage to get a break when they got back and we have spent some lovely time together. I took Jacey and Bow to Marlow for the day horse riding which was lovely. I even managed to have a weekend away with the Mrs. We stayed in the Mayfair hotel, London and even hit China Whites together. It was great!

On Q Promotions

The kids are back at school. Little Bow is back at her drama and gymnastics. I took Lene to join a new football club. He’s only 5 and is playing up with the older kids. He’s a little warrior and loves a slide tackle and his goal celebration takes the length of the pitch. I have no idea where he gets it from!

I also went to the Emirates to watch the Arsenal v Bolton match. I took my nephew Luca who is a great little player. He has a left foot like his uncle and currently plays for Luton Town. My Dad and I have been season ticket holders for arsenal for 23 years since I started playing for Arsenal at the age of 10. It was a great match and I’m sure the 4th goal will be a contender for goal of the season. 26 passes then back of the net pure class!

On a serious note:

I’m looking forward to the up and coming tournaments. I will also look forward to doing this blog again next month and would like to have a bit of fun with it as I don’t like to be too serious

p.s Gunners for the title