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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 18:01 GMT
Murphy buoyed by snooker talent
Shaun Murphy
Murphy won the 2005 World Championship
UK Championship
4-17 December
York Barbican Centre

  • Live on BBC TV, Interactive and Online

    Former world champion Shaun Murphy believes snooker has a bright future as a result of the flood of young talent who have come to the fore recently.

    The 2005 Crucible winner, speaking ahead of the UK Championship which begins on Monday in York, said it was important to bring new players through.

    "I think snooker must be one of the best sports for having young up-and-coming talent," he said.

    "If we can bring in more young people it protects the sport for many years."

    The 25-year-old added: "Neil Robertson and Jamie Cope, who battled it out in the Grand Prix final, are two fantastic players - and I think that's just what the sport needs.

    I really like the way Robertson plays

    Shaun Murphy

    "Not only that, it's just what our country needs - and I think it's a very positive thing."

    Murphy reckons that Australian Robertson, in particular, is good for snooker.

    "You only have to look at people like Ian Poulter in golf to see, from the business side, what kind of revenue people like that must generate," said the world number five.

    "It's a great thing to have, and I think golf would be weaker without Ian Poulter - and snooker would be weaker without Neil Robertson.

    "I really like the way Robertson plays."

    Murphy starts his UK Championship campaign a week on Thursday when he faces one of Scottish duo Alan McManus and Marcus Campbell.

    Victory would set him up with a possible tie against former champion and last year's finalist Steve Davis.

    Ding Junhui, who won the crown in 2005, will play either Ryan Day or fellow Chinese player Liu Song in the second round, when he enters the competition along with the rest of the top 16.

    Ronnie O'Sullivan will face either Ian McCulloch or Ricky Walden, while Stephen Hendry will find himself up against Robert Milkins or Dave Harold.

    UK Championship draw & results
    29 Nov 06 |  Snooker
    Snooker on the BBC
    10 Nov 06 |  Snooker
    Ding beats Davis to win UK title
    18 Dec 05 |  Snooker
    Murphy completes win over Davis
    22 Apr 06 |  Snooker


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