Earlier this month, Jimmy, the reigning Seniors UK Champion was in Ireland to play Ronnie O’Sullivan in three exhibitions. He was interviewed by Conor Sharkey.
There are a couple of inaccuracies in this article, notably the fact the Stephen Hendry retired well before Steve Davis did, but Jimmy’s quotes are very interesting all the same.
Two things attracted my attention.
Jimmy states this is his last year as a pro. Now, what does that mean? I would be very surprised if he was willing to retire, he’s the type you have to scrape off the table! So what then? Is he possibly determined to concentrate on the Seniors Tour exclusively? Is he expecting the invitational tour cards to disappear now that the Seniors Tour is growing and seniors players are offered their own set of tournaments to play in?
Jimmy’s assessment of the current players isn’t exactly all positive. In fact it’s pretty damning in some aspects. He’s questioning their motivation and desire, including when talking about Ding and Trump. He states that most current players’ game is incomplete, some aspects are poor or missing and they don’t cope with longer formats well. The last bit of course isn’t helped by the fact that the “standard” format nowadays is the best of 7. He’s clearly not impressed with what he perceives as being most players mentality. I think he’s a bit too harsh actually. Many do struggle badly financially and that’s hard to put that off your mind when bills await to be paid. Rookies face a top 64 player in first round more often than not and get nothing for their efforts if they lose, even if they played well, gave their more experienced opponent a good game and entertained the audience. I’m not sure that this system is a great “motivator”.