Duffy on home ground as tour begins

Pictured at the  English Institute of sport, Sheffield, at the World Snooker Academy, where the English Snooker Finals took place. Seen is  Adam Duffy of Eckington Snooker club, finalist in the Under 19's championship

Pictured at the English Institute of sport, Sheffield, at the World Snooker Academy, where the English Snooker Finals took place. Seen is Adam Duffy of Eckington Snooker club, finalist in the Under 19's championship

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RISING snooker star Adam Duffy will return to where it all began next week after qualifying for the 2011 professional tour.

Duffy, from Eckington, made the professional tour after beating David Gray 4-2 in the quarter-final of the World Snooker Qualifying School 2011 last month.

And when the 2011/12 season starts on Monday with the Players Tour Championship (PTC) Event One, Duffy will make the short trip to the World Snooker Academy at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport - where he first rose to prominence after being awarded a Paul Hunter Scholarship to train at the Academy in 2008.

The scholarship, named after the late Hunter after his death in October 2006, allowed Duffy to train at the Academy for a year.

Another previous recipient, Welsh number one Daniel Wells, has also qualified for the main tour.

“It’s not sunk in yet that I’m on the main tour,” Duffy said after beating former world number 12 Gray.

“After that year I had a bit of a lapse, but recently I’ve been working hard and it has paid off.”

Sheffield Wednesday fan Duffy, who had trials for the Owls as a youngster, added, “I had a bit of luck [in the qualifiers] because in an earlier match against Stephen Rowlings, I was 3-1 down and had a problem with my tip. I managed to nick the fifth frame, then the match was pulled off so I went home and changed my tip. After that I didn’t miss a ball.

“I only live close by, so it will be great playing in the World Championship qualifiers next season because a lot of friends will come down to support me. My target is to get into the world’s top 64.”

Duffy, who is expected to practice alongside last year’s World Championship runner-up and former World Snooker Academy player Judd Trump, will then have the chance to qualify for the first ranking event ever held Down Under.

Qualifiers for the 2011 Australian Goldfields Open run from June 27 to June 30, also at the World Snooker Academy in Attercliffe.