By Nigel Slater
THE LAST time The Old Green Baize spoke to talented youngster Sean O’Sullivan was back in June when he was hoping to achieve his ultimate and lifelong dream in becoming a professional player by qualifying through Q School.
Five months later, after a brilliant Q School campaign and making his dream come true, O’Sullivan – nicknamed The Storm – is now getting used to life as a professional player.
It would be fair to say he has endured a difficult start on his world tour debut suffering several first round qualification defeats. But it seems things are slowly turning around for O’Sullivan after he gained a huge win against David Gilbert in a recent PTC event in Belgium.
The Old Green Baize caught up with the young Londoner who in this interview reveals how he is a much better player than ever before and how determined he is to get more wins on the board.
Last time we spoke Sean, you were preparing for Q School 2012 and aiming to become a professional player. Now, you’re living the dream – so how is it being a snooker pro ?
“Yes it is a great feeling to know I am now a professional snooker player. It’s not quite the glitz and glamour that some people may think it is, but I enjoy it. The fact that I get to call it work is a fantastic thought considering it is my passion and everything I want to do.”
Has your life changed much since turning professional? Has there been much of a difference?
“My life hasn’t changed that much to be quite honest. I had been a full-time snooker player for a year-and-a-half before I turned professional anyway so I was used to putting in six or seven hours a day every day.
“I do get recognised a little bit more now and then. At tournaments especially, people are starting to know who I am who only usually follow the big names. Also around my local area people recognise me from being in the paper or something like that.
“Family life hasn’t changed too much. I’m just not at home as often as I would normally be. I’m having to travel a lot more abroad and across Britain but my parents don’t mind, they are just very proud and happy to see me doing what I enjoy. It is the same with my girlfriend, I’m lucky really, she understands that I have to travel all the time and she is really supportive. I can’t complain about how life is at the moment!”
You’ve had a quite difficult start judging by your results so far. You must be determined to start winning more often and move up the rankings list?
“No it has not been easy. However I do believe in my game and during the past year my game has improved a lot more as a whole.
“Tactically I am more solid and I am beginning to score heavy when I get in the balls. I am extremely determined to start winning more and more, especially since I got my first win under my belt in Antwerp against Dave Gilbert. That was the confidence boost I needed.
Best experiences you’ve had since turning professional?
“I would say playing Mark Selby in the Paul Hunter Classic is in the top three for sure! There have been a couple of other matches which have been probably more significant. One was against Tian Pengfei (Shanghai Masters Qualifiers Round 1). Not many people were expecting me to get close to him never mind bringing it to a decider and if luck had gone my way, I probably would have beaten him that day. It was the first time I thought to myself, I actually do deserve to be here, and that I am good enough!
“The other match is of course beating Gilbert. Getting the first win under my belt was such a relief and hopefully I can progress from here.”
For more information about Sean O’Sullivan visit his official website at http://www.sean-osullivan.net/ or follow him on Twitter @SeanTheStorm147