Q SCHOOL starts this weekend with more than 100 hopefuls battling it out in a bid to secure a possible life-changing two-year place on the professional snooker circuit.
In its second year, the tournament will hold three competitions this month – giving each competitor at least three chances of qualifying for a place on the world tour. But only 12 can make it through.
Those who make the semi-finals from each event will earn themselves a place on the professional tour for the next two seasons giving them the chance to qualify for major ranking events, climb the rankings and win prize money.
Players who are successful in the first and second tournaments will be withdrawn from subsequent events and their opponents who they were drawn against will receive byes into the next round. All matches are best out of seven frames and will be played at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
And one of the hopefuls hoping to shine this year and make his dreams come true is London’s Sean O’Sullivan.
The 18-year-old has had an impressive season on the amateur circuit and has qualified in two PTC events during the campaign which has seen him take on the world’s best including Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire at the venue stages.
O’Sullivan told The Old Green Baize he is all geared up for the battle with Event One starting on Sunday (May 13).
“I’m really excited about this year’s Q School,” he said. “This will be the biggest tournament I’ve played in terms f what the rewards would be if I qualified.
“I’ve been playing well this season so I’m going in with lots of confidence and belief in myself to succeed.
“To win a place n the professional tour would be everything I’ve been practising for and would mean the hard work is paying off. It has always been one of my main ambitions to turn professional and it would be a dream come true.”
Playing in his second Q School campaign, O’Sullivan has been drawn against Stuart Carrington and Christopher Keogan in the first rounds of events 1 and 2 respectively.
And the teenager could face a first round showdown with three-times world championship semi-finalist Tony Knowles in event 3 – should both players still be competing for a place on the tour going into the final event.
“I’m pleased with the draw, obviously its going to be tough but I wouldn’t have entered if I didn’t think I could beat anyone else in the draw,” Sean added.
“The possibility of playing Tony Knowles is very exciting, but for now I’ve got my first event match to worry about against Stuart Carrington and I will be trying my best not to have to play Tony in the third event.
“Since last year I think my safety game has improved and playing players such as Martin Gould and Anthony Hamilton has certainly helped that. But also my break-building as I’m scoring a lot heavier in tournaments which is good to see.”
Event 1 takes place between May 13-17. Event 2 will be held between May 19-23 and the third event starts from May 25.
In a statement World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said Q School was a great platform for making a player’s dream of turning professional come true.
“We are giving the opportunity for any player from anywhere in the world to follow their dream and try to win a place on the main circuit,” he said.
“This time the reward is even greater as we are giving a two-year Tour card to all 12 players who make it through Q School. This gives the players who get through every chance to establish themselves in the pro game and climb the rankings.”
For more information about Q School 2012 visit http://www.worldsnookerqschool.com/.