#8, November 11th 1996
Dream Team Wins World Cup
Scotland's so called Dream Team lived up to their name by lifting the newly formed World Cup in Bangkok, in what was a highly exciting and interesting competition. It was really nice to see player's willing each other on, it made such a change to the normal atmosphere. Although I did think that there seemed to be a total lack of media interest here in the UK, but then that just sums up the way the media views snooker these days. The tournament was a great idea and well put together the standard of play was ok considering the conditions, it is never easy to play in Thailand for some reason, some players say it is the humidity. Anyhow for me it was really good to see the lesser countries sharing the limelight. I know I sometimes criticise th WPBSA, but now I must say that the world cup was great and I hope they repeat it again for many years.
Congratulations to Wales Mark Williams on winning the Grand Prix, even though he did beat my player Mark King on the way! It is so nice to see a natural player like Mark winning titles, forget the high breaks they don't mean a thing. Mark is similar to lots of young players they may not have the same positional talent, and they might not always take their time on a shot, but they go for anything which means it is exciting snooker. Too many people think that if player's don't keep making high breaks then they have no talent, this is not the case, players today attack more than ever so they do not alway's get the breaks. It may suprise a lot of people to know that John Higgins has never scored a maximum break!, not even in practice has he managed it. Mark Williams has no fear he takes any shot on and alway's plays the same. Now as far as the rest of the Grand Prix was concerned it was all shocks, but then if you read my page I have been predicting that the up and coming player's were closing the gap!, but even I was suprised by some of the results.
Mind you if any of you watched the TV coverage then I wondered what you thought of the BBCs attempts to bring the personality of the player's home to the viewers, for instance just because Nick Pearce used to be a male model they never stopped mentioning it. Instead of 'here is Nick Pearce' it was alway's 'former male model Nick Pearce'. Ok Nick used to be a male model... so what?,do you hear every player anounced with their former occupation first?. No disrespect to Nick he has done well but I do not feel he has what it takes to succeed in the big time. The BBC have always had a funny ideas when it comes to presenting snooker, what I mean by that is that one minute they will only show snooker at three in the morning, and the next they will show it to you at peak time but miss out some of the games that went on live and show you some clips of a 1988 final between two has-beens.
There is no sense in these actions, when Matthew Stevens beat Stephen Hendry (another tip of mine to do well!) you would think that they would have televised his next match wouldnt you?, wrong they took Matthew and his opponent Mark King off of the TV table and replaced them with John Parrot and Neal Foulds. Ok John and Neal are great player's but we have seen them loads of times, wake up BBC take notice of all this talent before it is too late, they need the TV coverage so that people can recognise their personality!
Next up is the UK Championship in Preston and I am off with Mark King on Thursday, he will be playing Joe Swail, it should be a good match as they are both attacking player's, of course I hope Mark wins. The UK is alway's regarded by the player's as a special tournament because of the prestige it carries, and the extra points of course! As far as who will win I dont think you can write off Stephen Hendry because of the length of the matches, and the fact he will be smarting because of the pasting he got by Matthew Stephens. As for outsiders anything is possible but watch out for Quinten Hann from Australia, he might get beat first round or he could win the tournament he is that kind of a player, but he has a good draw and if he is in the mood who knows. You never know my own player Mark King could even go a long way this time he is playing very well at the moment, but then again they all are so I will have to keep hoping!
Would anyone who knows of tournaments being played in Europe at the moment please write to me and let me know, as I will tell the pro players as they like to keep up their match practice.
I will write again after the UK please keep your comments coming good or bad!
The Fountain is a column written by Richard Fountain from England. He is the manager of Mark King, a new and promising player who was provisionally 37 in the new rankings for 95-96. He will be writing to you throughout the snooker year and will try to give you all the inside info on this great game. Please feel free to write him <firstname.lastname@example.org> with any questions you may have.
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