On Saturday the 2nd of March the first audition of the Ken Doherty Lucky Break competition was held in Douglas Snooker Club in Cork.
This competition is being filmed for Setanta Sports TV Channel. 56 under 18 players attended to show off their skills. The players were judged by Ken Doherty, Gay Burns and our National Coach PJ Nolan.
All the players were given time on the table with a practice drill to impress the judges with their talent, attitude, commitment and personality during their audition. The judges had a very hard task in trying to narrow the 56 down to the 8 from this Cork audition.
Next week in the Ken Doherty Academy in Dublin there will be the final Audition where 8 more will be selected. The sixteen players will then be officially announced and if Dublin's talent is anything like in Cork the judges will have a hard task in finding eight.
Ken Doherty thanked all the players and parents for coming to the audition and he was very impressed the amount of young talented players.
PJ Nolan gave a coaching seminar to the players on developing their shot approach of coming in on line and cueing straight while Ken Doherty gave a master class on Break Building positional play. The players also availed of the PJ's training books which were on hand for all the players to bring home and study to improve their game more.
Karl and Martin Busteed from Douglas snooker club were excellent hosts and their team of club officials did a superb job of making it a great day for everyone on the day.
The judges will then have to reduce the 16 qualifiers from Cork and Dublin to the final four and these four will go to the Crucible and play in an International match against an England and Wales select team. The final prize for one of the four will be a years scholarship to improve his or her game with the help of Ken Doherty and Ireland's top coaches.
The whole show will appear on Setanta TV later on in the year and it promises to be a great promotion for Junior Snooker in Ireland in trying to get more players playing this beautiful game on the green baize.
Thursday, 28 February 2013 21:57
Published inPJ's Blog
This week two Spanish Snooker Coaches travelled to the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club in Ireland which is the EBSA Centre of Excellence to receive training from PJ Nolan in becoming qualified European Snooker Association Coaches.
The EBSA Coaching Course is only open to recognised coaches who are approved by their own National Governing Body. The Spanish Snooker Association had nominated Ander Isuskizaand Aram Bernausto receive coaching from PJ who is the EBSA head coach. PJ's role is to train coaches on behalf of the European Billiards & Snooker Association in promoting the game all across Europe.
The EBSA Snooker Coaching syllabus includes practical exams as well as verbal and written exams covering all the techniques and skills of coaching the game of snooker. The course in Carlow was a private course covering all aspects of the game from Planning Sessions, Designing Routines, Role of a Coach, Sports Psychology, Rules of the Game, Practice Exercises, Getting out of and laying Snookers, Written Records, Safety Play, Shot Selection, Oral Assessment, Preparation for Match- Play, Physical and Mental Etiquette and on the final day they completed the EBSA coaching written exam.
During their practical exam PJ invited Carlow players Colvin O Brien and Corey Ramsbottom when both coaches designed a training session around them with a selection of training drills and coaching advice.
Aram began to play pool ten years ago In Catalonia. Aram is a Blackball International 8 Ball pool player playing in three World Championships and Three European Championships. He also competed in the Amateur Spanish Snooker Championship in 2009 and was the runner up to qualify to play in the 2009 European Snooker Championship in Romania. Two years ago he started to coach snooker and blackball players and created his web site on www.blackballfarm.com
Aram said : I had the four greatest days of my life. I learned more than I expected. PJ is one of the best snooker communicators I ever seen. The Ivy Rooms is a great place to see how snooker is played in Ireland.
Ander began to watch snooker on TV over ten years ago and that is when his interest in coaching started. He decided to create a Spanish snooker blog in 2009 www.snooker147blog.com. His love of the game meant he wanted to learn as much as possible about the game. He has already translated Steve Davis' 'Successful Snooker' into Spanish. Ander is also in charge of the promotion of the Spanish Amateur League and he competes regular in all their events.
Ander said : I had no doubt PJ Nolan would be the best to teach me how to become a top coach and he definitely lived up to my expectations. We went through every aspect of the game: Playing Techniques, Designing Routines, Psychology, Match - play. I feel now I have the tools and knowledge to go back to Spain and increase the standard of our players.
Jim Leacy current president of the IBSF was on hand to congratulate them both on passing the first part of his exam. He is delighted to see Spain sending two coaches to become EBSA Coaches and the number of EBSA Coaches will reach thirteen with full EBSA accreditation later on this year. Ander and Aram now begin their probation period where they will both complete all the necessary assignments in Spain to graduate in becoming a fully accredited EBSA Coaches.
New EBSA Snooker Coaches
PJ said he was very impressed with both coaches knowledge and they have a great hunger to learn new skills. They have already proven they are good coaches in Spain but becoming a qualified EBSA Coach will now give Spain a better chance in developing the game more to produce top players in the future. It was a great pleasure training them and I wish them good luck with their coaching.
If you would like to become a EBSA Coach you need to contact your own National Governing Body in writing and request them to officially contact Maxime Cassis in the EBSA nominating you to attend a course. Full details are on www.ebsa.tv web site.
Monday, 25 February 2013 22:55
Published inPJ's Blog
Last weekend the 22nd and 23rd February our National Coach PJ Nolan was invited to Belgium to hold a coaching clinic in The Sandrine Vlamynck Snooker Room in Chatelet. The club is near the Belgium, French border and was named in memory of former lady number one French snooker player Sandrine Vlamynck who tragically died last year.
In this area of Belgium, snooker is really booming and among the players who attended this camp were three players who will represent their country in next month's EBSA European Snooker Championships in Serbia and a number of local players.
The three players bound for the EBSA Championships in Serbia from the 18th - 28th of March had come for a coaching session were French up and coming junior players Niel Vincent, Nicola Mortreux who will both represent France in the Under 21 European Championship. These young whiz kids are aged 10 years old and 12 years old and they will be the youngest competitors in Serbia.
The French Snooker Association must be congratulated in sending two young players to a major Championship. The other player was experienced International player Alain Vandersteen who will compete in the European Team Championship for Belgium.
The other Belgium players were from the host club Mathieu Protin, Sebastien Taets and Raphael Profeta, Vincenzo Marchica and Lady player Jennifer Lemielle . One of the leading Belgium junior players 11 year old Sybren Sokolowski also attended and showed why he is regarded so highly with a superb display in his session.
All the players were recorded and received training routines and a DVD of the lesson to study at home. PJ worked on the players shot selection and cue actions in delivering the cue on the line of aim. The players trained very hard in their sessions and it was great to be back in the club where PJ has so many good memories and another camp is planned for later on in the year.
If any player or club would like to like to book a coaching session with PJ Nolan who is one of the world's leading coaches they should email
for his next available date.
The cost of holding a RIBSA session is €20.00 per hour coaching time plus €15.00 per hour travel time from Carlow plus tolls and parking. If you would like to travel to the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club in Carlow you can avail of a 2hr session for €55.00 which includes Lights, DVD of the lesson and Technique profile.