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New site and Worlds preview

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Hi everyone, welcome to my new website.


The team and I have been working on it for some time now and I really hope that you like it and enjoy having a look round.

We've tried to listen to the feedback you've all given on here and through my Twitter account and we're really proud of the way it looks and feels.

To be fair my technical involvement has been quite small as I wouldn't know the first place to start in designing a website, so that's allowed me to concentrate fully on my snooker, which has been going along nicely recently.

Of course at this time of year it's all about one thing. Easter Eggs! Sorry no, what am I saying? I mean the World Snooker Championships of course.

All the players have one eye on Sheffield the moment The Masters at  The Ally Pally in London is finished and I'm no different. I've been looking forward to it for months now and cannot wait to get started on saturday afternoon.

Naturally, it's unlike any other event we play in. The history of the event and the venue in Sheffield make it our flagship fortnight and it feels as if the whole snooker community comes together for those few weeks. All of that put together adds up to a great event with an unmatched buzz almost anywhere in sport. I've been lucky enough to go to some big sporting events over the years and would struggle to find one that can match the World Snooker Championships for pure sporting atmosphere. The two Champions League finals I've been to were good but as Manchester United lost both of them they're in joint second place behind the Crucible.

As for me and my game going into the Championship I'm in a good place. I've been working hard with my coach Chris Henry on and off the table to make sure I'm as well prepared for it as I possibly can be. It's good to know before whatever happens in Sheffield that my preparation has been solid and no stone has been left unturned.

In snooker, the World Championship is a challenge unlike any other. The venue with all its history, the crowds that are always full and excited and the long matches right from the off make it a marathon - not a sprint. But a good start is crucial. Ray Reardon once said to me that you cannot win the Championship in Round 1 but you can lose it. So I'll be going in as focussed as I can be and giving it 100 per cent.

Of course, there will be other players there too who will have a say in matters, some of them coming to the end of what have been stellar seasons so far.

The achievements of Ding Junhui in winning five ranking events this season and matching the great Stephen Hendry's record has been great to watch. At times he and others like Neil Robertson and my good mate Mark Selby have looked dangerously close to unbeatable, and they - together with Ronnie - must surely be favourites to lift the title this year.

Last year I lost 12-13 to Judd Trump in the quarter finals in what many said was the match of the event. I'm not sure about that but it was a good game nonetheless. Hopefully this year I'll do better, we'll just have to wait and see.

All the best,

Shaun

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