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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 22:36 UK

Brown confident for pro debut

By Alvin McCaig
BBC Sport NI

Jordan Brown
Jordan Brown will make his professional debut in August

Jordan Brown fought hard to clinch a place in the professional ranks but maintaining that status will be his toughest challenge yet.

The 21-year-old from Antrim topped the Northern Ireland rankings last season to secure a ticket to the pro circuit.

He joins the 96-strong tour and will compete in the tournament qualifiers in Prestatyn with the hope of getting through to take on the stars of the sport.

Brown has a strong bond with one of the elite - World Championship semi-finalist and fellow Antrim man Mark Allen is a friend, club-mate and practice partner.

Emulating Allen's rise to the top 16 would do nicely for Brown but survival at this level is his immediate priority.

The top 64 at the end of the season stay on the tour but the dream ends for the remaining 32.

"I know the qualifiers are going to be really tough and to make the final stage of tournaments I have to win four games," he said.

"The likes of Steve Davis, Ken Doherty, Matthew Stevens and Graeme Dott will be competing at Prestatyn - there are so many good players outside the top 16.

"This is my big chance but I have belief in my ability and know I can make the the top 64 and then progress from there.

I am looking for a sponsor but it is very difficult with the current state of the economy.

Jordan Brown

"I am not thinking of world titles, I am just aiming to remain on the tour and show I can compete with the best."

Brown has an impressive CV with a string of junior titles including three All-Ireland U21 triumphs.

He has travelled the globe to play the game he loves with destinations including India, Thailand, Russia and Bahrain.

He displayed calm under pressure as he sought to retain his Northern Ireland Championship crown in May with veteran Dermot McGlinchy his opponent in the final.

The winner would end the season as Northern Ireland's number one and win that prized place on the tour - Brown prevailed 10-4.

His skills were honed at the Fountain Club in Antrim, a school of snooker with Allen it's most successful pupil to date.

"I started playing on a small table when I was five and it wasn't long before I was addicted to the game.

"I joined the Fountain Club when I was 14 and I was amazed at the standard of snooker.

"There were top players such as Colin Bingham, Raymond Fry and Declan Lavery at the club and of course, Mark Allen.

"I learned so much from playing them and the four competitions held each week at the club were of a really high quality.

"I am Mark's main practice partner when he's back home and he has been a big help in my career."

The financial burden on new professionals can end a career before it has a chance to flourish.

Brown works part-time in a local store and will continue to do so even after the season starts in August with qualifying for the Shanghai Masters.

Mark Allen
Mark Allen won his first professional title in China earlier this month

The right-hander eagerly awaits his pro debut and is working with coaches Marty Brammeld and Joe Bingham to perfect his game.

"I am looking for a sponsor but it is very difficult with the current state of the economy.

"I need the job to make ends meet and I'm lucky to have a boss who will give me time off to go to Wales for the qualifiers.

"I'm also lucky that my father will support me if I can't get a sponsor but it will not be easy.

"I want to concentrate on the snooker, my game is in good nick and I'm determined to get into the top 64.

"I can pot as good as anyone and while my safety play is good, it's something I have to improve.

"I feel I have a good temperament, which is vital at professional level, and I was quite relaxed in the final against Dermot McGlinchey despite knowing what was at stake.

"I have played at Prestatyn many times in different competitions and that familiarity with the tables could be an advantage.

"I will go there with confidence and while I'm aware it's a huge challenge, it's one I relish."

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see also
Allen cruises to first pro title
07 Jun 09 |  Snooker
Higgins downs Allen to make final
02 May 09 |  Snooker
Allen sees off Day to reach semis
29 Apr 09 |  Snooker

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