A YOUNG snooker player from Tunbridge Wells is busy making a name for himself on the baize and is seeking funding to help him compete on the amateur circuit.
Ten-year-old Dylan Smith started playing last year while on holiday in Suffolk with his father Lee, who is Head of Design at the Times of Tunbridge Wells. Lee, a keen snooker player who is Chairman of the Hurst Green Snooker and Billiards League, says: “Dylan asked if he could play on the full-size snooker table at our hotel.
“I agreed, and being a snooker player for many years myself I noticed that for a nine-year-old what a straight cue action he had, kept his head still on the shot and followed all the classic signs on how the play the game properly.
“He also pulled off some very difficult shots, even for a club player, although he couldn’t even reach the table properly.”
As Dylan continued to show promise in the sport, his father decided to obtain some professional coaching for him. Eventually they secured the services of World Tour player Leo Fernandez, who also has a passion for coaching. They also found an ideal practice player in Ben Sizer, five-times Kent Under-21 champion.
Now Dylan is trying to raise £1,600 in sponsorship to allow him to play on the amateur circuit and cover the cost of travel, accommodation, entry fees and expenses.
His mentor Leo says: “Dylan has a fantastic opportunity now that he can surround himself with local pros like Mark Davis, Jimmy Robertson and myself.
“Jimmy commented on how good Dylan looks technically. If he can secure suitable sponsorship to enable him to compete on the amateur stage, he’ll have a very bright future.”
Ben added: “It’s a pleasure to be part of Dylan’s behind-the-scenes team and I think if he continues the way he is progressing he will be a great amateur player and should progress to the professional stage.”