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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Dott relishing Trophy challenge
Graeme Dott celebrates with the World Championship trophy
Dott stunned the snooker world in Sheffield
World champion Graeme Dott knows he will be under extra pressure when he starts the new season at the Northern Ireland Trophy in Belfast.

The Scot is relishing the challenge and is confident he can deal with the expectation that somes with holding snooker's most prestigious title.

"A lot of people will be keeping an eye on my results and looking at how I'm playing," said the 29-year-old.

"I don't think players will fear me but they will be determined to beat me."

"It's hard to say whether that will affect me until I've got through the first couple of tournaments but I have proved what I can do.

"I've won the biggest tournament of all, so if I keep that in mind it will take the pressure off me.

"I have approached the season in exactly the same way as I always do although I haven't practised for as long as I usually do because the season is starting earlier," added the world number six.

"I expect a lot of the other players are the same and there could be a few shocks in the first round in Belfast.

"It will be brilliant to be introduced as world champion for the first time but my main target for the season is to keep progressing.

"I want to get to the latter stages of tournaments more often because I now know I'm capable of winning them."

The Northern Ireland Trophy at the Waterfront Hall runs from 13-20 August.

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