‘Rocket’ Ronnie Starts Search For New ‘Future Star’

Under-16 snooker hotshot will win £5,000 and coaching

Three-time World snooker champion ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan and snooker club operator Rileys have launched the search for the ‘Future Star’ of 2011.

The nationwide hunt will find a naturally talented youngster aged 16 or under who will receive coaching from O’Sullivan – and pocket £5,000 to spend on career development.

Regional competitions held at Rileys clubs will find 120 winners, who then go head-to-head until eight players are left standing.

The final eight will compete in Sheffield during the World Championships in May where they must compete in skills tasks designed by O’Sullivan to test their cue technique and ball control.

Last year, Joel Walker, 16, of Sheffield, won the inaugural Future Stars competition. More than 1,000 youngsters entered the nationwide competition.

Walker is enjoying coaching sessions with O’Sullivan and even landed a wildcard entry into the professional World Snooker Open.

Walker said: “Ronnie has been a great coach, he’s offered me a lot of advice and we’ve played a couple of frames that were close.

“I had a good season last year and am taking steps towards my dream of becoming a professional.”

Players aged 16 or under on April 30 can register FREE at www.rileys.co.uk/futurestars before February 28.

The preliminary rounds, best-of-five frame Super 6s knockouts, will take place at Rileys clubs nationwide on Saturday March 19.

Ronnie O’Sullivan said: “I’m excited about the 2011 competition, I’m looking for a candidate with the potential to become a top professional player.

“I’ve really enjoyed the coaching role with Joel, I enjoy passing on experience and seeing people get better.

“I’m looking for someone with a unique talent – you can spot it straight away.

“With backing from Rileys and some mentoring from me – hopefully we can uncover a new World Champion.”

Rileys Chief Executive Maurice Kelly said: “We are delighted to see the return of Future Stars.

“The standard of entrants in 2010, our first year, was exceptional and I’m sure this year will be even better.

“The competition is a real chance for a youngster to break into the snooker big time.”

For more information on the competition, endorsed by professional governing body World Snooker, head to www.facebook.com/futurestarsofsnooker