A 19-year-old snooker player from Swinton has won himself a free place at a top professional training school by pocketing a national title.
His most recent win at the EPSB open series in Hartlepool will see his entry to Q School paid for, where he has a chance of getting on the professional tour.
Kayden Brierley, of Swinton Pool Hall, is viewed as having significant potential in the world of snooker and has amassed multiple accomplishments since starting to play aged five.
This includes being crowned U17s National Champion four times, U16s National Finalist and being selected to play for England at U16 and U21 international tournaments.
Kayden said: “It’s a good confidence booster really. It’s a new series they’ve done this year and the top four get their ‘Q School’ paid for.
“It’s a massive money saver really.”
Despite this success, he says it’s not the best of his accolades so far, citing finishing top of the rankings at the U20s regional tour of the north. This saw him qualify for the U21s premier tour, which he won just before Covid hit.
Kayden and his family regularly travel up and down the country to compete in snooker tournaments, including trips to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where the World Snooker Championships are held.
Top professional snooker players such as Sean Murphy, Nigel Bond and Jimmy White are fans of Kayden’s, who can be regularly seen playing on the table used during the introductory commentary of BBC 2.
“This year I played at one down in Reading, which was the summer cup and I got to the final there,” Kayden said.
Swinton Poolhall, where Kayden trains and plays as he practicses for tournaments, is also his place of work.
“The staff are great. For the last few years, I’ve been working here and if I need time off for tournaments and all that, they give it me off and someone covers my shifts,” said Kayden.
“I try and practise before or after work, which is a struggle. But you have to treat it more like a job, practising everyday, doing tournaments on weekends.”
Founded in 1980 by the brother of three-times World Snooker Championship winner John Spencer, Swinton Poolhall boasts nine snooker tables, 12 English pool tables, three indoor bowling rinks and four darts areas; the perfect environment for any up and coming sportspeople to hone their talents in.
The iconic John Virgo, three-time world champion John Spencer and two-time champ Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins regularly played in Swinton 50 years ago. Players like Kayden, who play here now, will be looking follow in their famous Salford footsteps.
Thanks to his recent EPSB Open Series victory in Hartlepool, the next step of Kayden’s career is all queued up, with a pro career potentially tabled.
However, to help with his big break, Kayden and his family are looking for sponsorship opportunities after running into trouble with travel costs.
Anyone who might want to assist with any sponsorship details can contact Matthew Brierley on 07906 167632.