Chance for young snooker players to develop their career under the Rocket

Rileys snooker clubs in Lincoln will host regional qualifiers for Ronnie O’Sullivan’s search for the Future Stars of 2011.

The nationwide competition will find a talented youngster aged 16 or under who will receive coaching from O’Sullivan – and pocket £5,000 to spend on career development.

Snooker players aged 16 or under can register free on April 30 at www.rileys.co.uk/futurestars before 28th February.

The preliminary rounds, a best-of-five frame Super 6s knockout, will be held at Rileys Silver Street and Rileys Crofton Road on Saturday 19th March. The winners go on to compete against 118 other qualifiers in a regional final until eight players are left standing.

The final eight compete in Sheffield during the World Championships in May. They compete in skills tasks designed by O’Sullivan to test their cue technique and ball control.

In 2010, Joel Walker (16), of Sheffield, won the inaugural Future Stars competition when more than 1,000 youngsters entered the nationwide competition.

Walker is now enjoying coaching sessions with O’Sullivan, and landed a wildcard entry into the professional World Snooker Open.

He said: “Ronnie has been a great coach. He’s offered me a lot of advice and we’ve played a couple of frames that were close! I had a good season last year and I’m getting towards my dream of becoming a professional.”

O’Sullivan said: “I’m excited about the 2011 competition. I’m looking for a candidate with the potential to become a top professional player. I’ve really enjoyed the coaching role with Joel.

“I enjoy passing on experience and seeing people play better. I’m looking for someone with a unique talent.

“I can spot it straight away. With backing from Rileys and some mentoring from me – hopefully we can uncover a new world champion.”

Rileys Chief Executive Maurice Kelly said: “We are delighted to bring back Future Stars. The standard of entrants in 2010, our first year, was exceptional.

“I’m sure this year will be even better. The competition is a genuine chance for a youngster to break into the snooker big time.””

For more information on the competition, endorsed by professional governing body World Snooker, head to www.facebook.com/futurestarsofsnooker