Adam Duffy’s Crucible dream is over, for another year at least.
A 10-6 defeat in the second qualifying round, at the hands of Joe Swail, may have ended his chances of appearing at this year’s World Championships - but has not damaged an unwavering determination to one day appear on snooker’s biggest stage.
“I struggled on the night against Joe, and I wish him all the best,” Duffy, who was beaten 4-0 by Peter Ebdon in the final qualifying stage last year, said.
“I have worked really hard all year, and learnt a lot from the disappointment of last year.
“But I’ll come back stronger again - I dream about getting to the Crucible every night before I go to sleep, and that won’t change.
“I have a lot of support from Sheffield people, which will make it even more of a buzz to get there.
“I’ve grown up with the Crucible on my doorstep, and I feel very proud to be from Sheffield.”
Snooker’s World Championship has been held at the Crucible since 1977, yet no homegrown player has ever graced the tables there.
The nearest was Shaun Murphy, based in Rotherham when he won the 2005 crown. China’s Ding Junhui also practices full-time at Star Snooker Academy, housed at Sheffield United’s Shirecliffe Academy.
“I’m quite good friends with Judd Trump, who reached the Crucible final in 2011, and we’ve been chatting about how much my career will change if I reached the Crucible one day.
“Seeing him in the final just made me realise how much I want this. We’ve grown up together through the youth ranks, and to see him doing so well inspires me.
“He’s reached the World Championship final and he was ranked number one - to do one is an achievement, but to do both is something really special.
“If I ever get to emulate what he has done so far, I would be extremely proud.”
A talented sportsman and keen Sheffield Wednesday fan, however, Duffy’s career could have easily taken a different path.
The former Eckington School pupil had trials for the Owls as a youngster, but eventually settled on snooker.
“I played at Wednesday with my good mate Luke Boden, who eventually went on to play for them,” Duffy said.
“I was a talented player, but I just don’t think I ever wanted it enough to be honest.
“I much prefer going to watch them play on a Saturday with a few beers!”
Duffy admits that, with snooker supremo Barry Hearn’s radical changes of the game, even he doesn’t know where he will stand next season.
“My main aim is to qualify for as many venues as I can, and earn as much money as I can,” the world number 61 said.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down, work as hard as I can and carry on doing well, both for myself and for my family.”