Castle Sets Euro Target

Many young snooker players dream of becoming professional one day but few achieve that status.

However fourteen year old Shane Castle has mapped out exactly what he needs to do to make the dream a reality.

From the age of seven, when his cousin Billy took him to the local club to play on a full sized snooker table, Castle took the first steps on the path to being a professional player…

“I fell in love with the game right away” Shane tells us.

“I’d never played before, even on a little table.

“After a few months a well known local Coach, Dave Mumford, saw me and offered to help me.

“I worked with Dave right up until I joined On Q Promotions and now I go to see Terry Griffiths.”

“As I’m aiming to get to professional level, working with Terry is important. We’ve been mainly working on my safety play and match play situations.

“When you play against the professionals, they can tie you up in knots and if you miss one shot, then you might as well sit down and put your cue away.

Star of the Future? Castle at ten years old

“I played Rob Milkins in a PTC and his safety was relentless. I wasn’t used to that. Every shot he had you on the bottom rail.

“You have to have a B Game as well as an A game. I don’t like playing the B game but I know I’ve got to learn to play it.”

Castle has split his season between competing in the English Junior Tour and gaining experience in the World Snooker PTC events.

“My target is get in the Top Four from the EASB Junior Premier Tour. That gets me into next year’s European Under 21 Championship.

“That’s mine!” said Castle emphatically. “I am going to go to Belgrade next year and bring home the title.”

Castle was runner up in 2012 in Bulgaria, but success in Belgrade in the 2013 event would see him win his Main Tour Professional Ticket.

“There’s a huge difference between the Junior events and the PTCs” says Shane.

“In the Junior events you might get four or five chances every frame and not be punished if you miss.

“But against the pros you can’t make one mistake. It’s been brilliant experience playing in the PTCs and I’ve really enjoyed it.

This weekend Castle is at South West Snooker Academy aiming to win consecutive events in the EASB Junior Tour.

2012 EBSA Under 18 Champion

He has a narrow lead at the top of the rankings ahead of Norwich’s George Pragnall, after the first two events.

“I think there’s about 6 or 7 of us fighting for the Top Four places.

“As well as me and George, there’s Oliver Lines, Elliot Slessor, Jordan Winbourne and James Cahill to watch out for. ”

Next weekend Castle will be back at the South West Snooker Academy, this time to compete in PTC Event 4 (The Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy).

He will face his Junior rival Oliver Lines in the opening round, with the winner going through to play the 2011 European Junior Open Champion Jamie Clarke.

Whichever of the talented juniors comes through that section of the draw will then certainly be faced with ‘the bottom rail’ as they will play one of the hardest pros in the sport, Dave Harold.