On Wednesday November 25, Yorkshire’s up-and-coming 21 year old amateur snooker player, Ashley Hugill, is set to compete in his first UK Championships.
The good news; he’ll be playing with a home advantage in York’s Barbican against his childhood idol. The bad news; his idol happens to be former World Champion, Shaun Murphy.
Isaac Beevor and Molly McElwee caught up with him ahead of the biggest match of his life, against the man who encapsulates his first memory of snooker.
How are you feeling about next week’s huge first round match against the 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy?
I’m just trying to stay relaxed really, I’m not feeling like it’s a massive moment in my career or anything like that; I’m going to take it as it comes. I’m trying to stay relaxed, and just play really; that’s what I like to do when it comes to big matches, just treat it as a normal game.
This is your first UK Championships, how does it feel playing in York as a Yorkshire man?
Yes, it’s really good to have a chance to play in front of my friends and family, because when I’ve played on T.V., or played in qualifiers before, they’ve never been there just because I’ve usually been too far away. So this is a great chance for me. It’s going to be my first time so it will be a new feeling. I think I’ll hopefully have 20 or 30 supporters down, or maybe more.
How are you coping with all the added media attention?
I was on BBC York earlier today and, as you saw, I was in an interview when you arrived. I’m quite laid back, so I’ve sort of been going with the flow and seeing what happens. It doesn’t really worry me, though, obviously this is the first time I’ve had any proper media attention.
What do you think your chances are?
I don’t know really, it really depends on how I play on the day. If I play my best I definitely could do well, but you don’t know how it could go on the day. Because if he plays well, then it will be an uphill battle. Hopefully he won’t be on his A-game, but you never know, do you? I’m just going to take it one frame at a time and try my best.
Tickets start at just £6, for more information call 0844 854 2757 or visitwww.worldsnooker.com/tickets. There is also a half-price student offer, just quote BALLS when booking tickets.