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Mark Williams welcomes Barry Hearn as new chairman

Snooker's Mark Williams shows reporter Lisa Rogers how to drive a golf ball

Mark Williams shows Sport Wales reporter Lisa Rogers how to drive a golf ball - and talks of snooker's hights and lows

Welsh snooker star Mark Williams has fully backed the appointment of Barry Hearn as the game's new chairman.

Snooker has suffered a dip in profile in recent years but Hearn is looking to revolutionise the sport.

Hearn has introduced walk-on music before games and is looking to increase the number of tournaments.

"I've been saying for a couple of years now that the best thing we could do is let Hearn come in and... take control," Williams told BBC Wales.

"That's the only way forward," Williams told the BBC Sport Wales programme.

He has already given a little buzz around the first venue [The Masters at Wembley Arena] he has been at.

"He has been walking round in the practice room talking to the players. I don't think we've seen other chairmen at the practice room or anything like that.

I think there are good times ahead

Mark Williams

"We have just got to go with whatever he thinks is the best for our game. If it means music and all that stuff then great.

"More tournaments is what all the players are looking for and if he can't do it then I don't think anyone can.

"I think there are good times ahead.

"He has already got a sponsor for [the Welsh Open] which we haven't had for a while and hopefully he'll get more sponsors."

Williams is preparing for the Welsh Open which takes place at the Newport Centre from 25-31 January.

He is hoping for better things from the home players this year because he and fellow Welshmen, Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens, have won just one match each in the last three stagings of the world ranking event.

606: DEBATE

Williams is the only Welsh winner of the tournament, lifting the title in 1996 and 1999, but is hoping for more success especially after he reached the semi-finals of the Masters earlier in January.

"It's good because it is in front of your own crowd. But on the other hand it puts a lot more pressure on you because everyone is expecting, not just myself, but the other Welsh players to do well," he added.

"But over the last four or five years I think the Welsh players have let ourselves down and not progressed. We are always out in the first [or] second round so none's got anyone left to cheer on.

"So hopefully this year one of us or a couple of us can get through to the latter stages."

Sport Wales is on BBC TWO Wales on Friday at 2200 GMT.



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see also
Welsh Open wins new sponsor deal
22 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Hearn looking to conquer Europe
19 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Hearn confirmed as snooker chief
17 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Sport Wales: The TV Programme
15 Mar 11 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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