Success at the Crucible

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Due to the type of work i do it is often hard for me to talk about my successes of which there have been many.
I often have to rely upon my clients talking about the work that we have done and goals we have achieved due to our agreed confidentiality.

However one of those moments has come along with one of my clients Ashley Hugill qualifying for the first time to compete at this years Snooker World Championships.

Ashley was drawn against one of the predicted winners of the tournament and although coming off second best in their match that finished yesterday he gave a fantastic account of himself and ticked off many 1st’s

Ashley was kind enough to mention myself during his interview with the BBC which was shown before his match on TV as well as in other interviews he completed with newspapers.

The below interview was with the Yorkshire post.

World Championship: Ashley Hugill relishing his Crucible debut

When Yorkshireman Ashley Hugill walks down the steps on his Crucible debut this afternoon it will be reward for years of hard graft.

Ashley Hugill set for his Crucible debut tonight. Picture: Zheng Zhai/World Snooker

Ashley Hugill set for his Crucible debut tonight. Picture: Zheng Zhai/World Snooker

For the 27-year-old swapped his family home in York to move to Sheffield nearly four years ago.

In distance, York to Sheffield may not compare with China to the Steel City – the trek the likes of Ding Junhui, Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong and Lyu Haotian have made – but Hugill, and his game, has prospered all the same. All five players, who call Sheffield their home town, reached the Betfred World Championship flying the flag for their adopted city.

And today, world No 77 Hugill – who along with Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong and Lyu Haotian trains at Victoria’s Academy in Sheffield – makes the short journey from Hillsborough to make his Crucible debut against former world champion Neil Robertson.
“It was one of the reasons why moving to Sheffield was such a good idea,” said Hugill, who has the luxury of sleeping in his own bed, rather than out of a suitcase at a hotel. “Not only for the training, but the biggest tournament of the year is here as well.
“After a certain amount of time, it just didn’t make sense to keep commuting, so I got a little place here.”

Inundated with ticket requests – “It’s been pretty manic with that” – the Hugill family will also be out in force today.

“My family are buzzing,” said Hugill, who had to win three qualifying matches just to reach the Crucible. “In some ways I think it’s almost bigger for them than it is for me.

“I knew I was going to play at the Crucible one day, maybe they weren’t sure.

“I knew it was going to happen, I had worked too hard, and was too good not to play at the Crucible one day.

“Maybe some of my family weren’t actually sure, it probably feels more amazing to them. It is amazing, but it’s not like I can’t believe it, I have been visualising this for the last few years. Now it’s here, it’s my time.

“I know the World Championship suits my style, the longer format matches, the big pressure matches I feel is when I am at my best.”

Hugill does not lack confidence, but admits today will mark the culmination of a tough apprenticeship.

“I am not surprised that I haven’t reach the Crucible before,” he admitted. “It’s all been a culmination moving towards this.

“I have been working really hard with (manager) Ian McCulloch and Matt Andrews – he has been my sports psychologist for a couple of years now – building up, and slowly getting better and better over the years.

“Getting my mind better, my body better, my game better. This just feels like a culmination of that.

“A few years ago my head wasn’t in the right place.

“I didn’t have that confidence or self-belief, that I have now,” he said.

“When you get those setbacks and are constantly going back to the drawing board and having to think what can you can better, what you need to change, what you need to learn, you do improve more quickly.”

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