Matthew Selt says that the pressure of competing on the World Snooker Tour has been lifted since his son Parker was born last month.
The former UK Championship quarter-finalist requires a strong showing this season to ensure his tour survival, with his world ranking currently standing at 59th. However, he told us he has been relaxed heading into this campaign when we caught up with him…
Matthew, first of all congratulations on the birth of your son Parker. How are you finding being a dad so far?
“It’s good, I love being a dad. It’s one of the best things ever. I’m just trying to get in as much sleep as I can now though because it can be hard to come by. I’m becoming a part-time snooker player and a full-time dad.
“It has made me channel my energies into something different really. Parker comes first now. I’m just making sure he is all good for the next few months and then I will re-evaluate how I use my time in terms of snooker after that. I am going to start practising again tomorrow for the World Open. However, I have other priorities now, which is strange because snooker has been my priority since I was 11 or 12 years of age. It is a different experience.”
Do you have one eye on the rankings in terms of trying to push on and solidify your place on tour this season?
“I’m not too worried about tour survival. If I were to drop off, I would go and get a job. I obviously do love snooker, so I’d like to keep playing. However, tour survival hasn’t really entered my mind. If you drop that far down the rankings then you aren’t really good enough to be a professional snooker player. If that happens I will be looking at other things. However, I am pretty confident I will shoot back up the rankings so I am not really concerned about that.”
What career path would you take if you were to fall off the tour?
“My sister owns and runs her own law firm so I would go and work for here. I’d go into the business, see what position she wanted me to fill and try to get a perspective for things and learn. That kind of excites me to be honest. I’ve played professional snooker since I was 17.
“Snooker is brilliant and I love travelling the world to play it. I qualified for the World Open in China and I am looking forward to booking my flights and planning out my route. I still love that. Ultimately that will change one day, whether that be five, ten or fifteen years down the line.”
What are your ambitions in snooker in terms of where you feel you can get to?
“I need to go back to looking at things one match at a time. Stephen Hendry always used to say that was how he approached things. Taking things ball by ball and frame by frame. I often get too far ahead of myself thinking about winning tournaments. That is not the way to look at it. I’m not a prolific winner and I’ve never won a ranking event. If I can get back to basics then I will be dangerous. Make no mistake people don’t want to draw me. I have a great record against the top players, apart from Ronnie O’Sullivan. It is the lower ranked players I struggle against. Purely because I don’t give them enough respect.”