The 2013 Rookie of the Year from Preston talks snooker, getting married and watching football.
Ian, how do you feel about your start to the season?
Not bad – I won three matches in the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers but I was disappointed to lose in the final round. And I lost my qualifier for Wuxi. I played well though and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. My next event will be the Latvian Open which is a few weeks away so I’m just practising a few hours here and there. Last season I did well in the European Tour events and got to one quarter-final. But I struggled in the main ranking events and didn’t win a match at a venue. So my main goal for this season is to do better at the ranking venues.
Is it a question of getting more experience playing in those conditions?
Yes – there is definitely a difference playing at the main venues, compared to the qualifiers and European Tour events. I played Matthew Stevens at the Welsh Open in Newport last season and it was only the second time I’d played on TV. I felt I played ok but lost 4-2. I need to get used to the conditions and having the cameras there.
Are you doing anything different this season to prepare for tournaments?
My practice regime is still the same but I’m doing more on the fitness side. I’ve always been reasonably fit but I want to improve so I’m doing some running and cycling, plus making sure my diet is healthy. And I’m doing Insanity work-outs which are very intense.
Are you still working with fellow Preston potter Ian McCulloch?
Yes, he has been helping me for a couple of years now, both as a coach and a manager. He’s always with me and it’s great to have someone with that amount of experience in my corner. He knows exactly what I’m going through in different situations.
Congratulations on your recent wedding, how did it go?
It was fantastic. Alison and I have been together for four and a half years. We got married at a church in Kirkham then had the reception at a hotel nearby. She works as an accountant for Lancashire County Council. It’s handy to be married to someone who knows about money when you’re self employed! We went to Crete for a week on honeymoon. It would have been nice to go for longer but I had to be back for the qualifiers.
Have you been watching a lot of the World Cup?
Yes I’ve watched nearly all of it so far. I thought England played well against Italy and I still believe we will get out of the group, although I can’t see us winning it. Colombia have impressed me more than anyone so far. I expect one of the South American teams to win it, though Germany could also be very strong.