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10-year-old snooker champ vying for a spot in national final

10-year-old snooker champ vying for a spot in national final

Saturday 02 March 2024

10-year-old snooker champ vying for a spot in national final

Saturday 02 March 2024


A 10-year-old snooker prodigy who has to stand on his tiptoes or use a cue extension to reach the centre of the table is set to complete on the national stage against players up to twice his age.

Archie Greier, who attends Samarès School, is due to play in both a UK national qualifier and the under-21 category of the Cuestars league this weekend.

Archie became interested in snooker at the age of seven, having seen it on TV, when he asked his parents if he could see a full-size snooker table.

They promptly took him to Planet Pool & Snooker on Wharf Street. There, they happened to meet coach Clayton Coates – who invited Archie to come back the next week to join a group of children learning to play pool.

After a year, Clayton declared he had nothing more to teach his student, and suggested that Archie should try his hand at snooker. 

He put the family in contact with Aaron Canavan – one of the island's top players – who took over as Archie's snooker coach.

"Clearly he's a good player, he's seen Archie's potential – that was about a year and a half ago," dad Howard Greier said.

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Pictured (from left to right): Clayton Coates, Archie Greier, and Aaron Canavan.

Training at First Tower, Archie stands on his tiptoes or uses a cue extension to reach the centre of the table.

Archie started playing in Cuestars – a UK-based snooker league aimed at juniors, who compete in bronze, silver or gold categories according to their level.

"He started winning them," Howard said. "He's won two tournaments in the under-21s."

His dad described him winning against a 17-year-old opponent who "was towering over him".

Archie trains at the two largest snooker clubs in Jersey – the Mechanics' Institute in St Helier, and the First Tower Billiards and Snooker club.

After Archie took the win in two Cuestars competitions at the end of last year, his coaches recommended he try to qualify for the under-14 championship with the UK's EPSPB, the sport's official body.

"That was nerve-racking because it was my first one," he said.

Despite the nerves, Archie won his first qualifier and is preparing to play in the second this weekend.

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Pictured: Archie claimed his first victory on the Cuestars U21 Bronze Tour in south London last year, at the age of nine.

Ahead of the competition, the 10-year-old said: "I'm feeling good because there's loads of excellent players, silver and gold players, and I'm bronze – so if I lose, then it's not such a big shock."

Winning the qualifier would afford Archie a spot in the English under-14s final. 

When the family travel to the UK, they are based at Chandler's Ford Snooker Club, just outside Southampton, where Archie can play against other youngsters – as the field in Jersey is mainly made up of adults.

From Southampton, they take the train to venues in Swindon, Woking or southeast London.

When playing snooker, youngsters have to abide by the right etiquette – wearing a bowtie, waistcoat and proper shoes and counting points for their opponents – which Archie and Howard described as a learning curve.

"It's out of their comfort zone, but if you've got a love for the sport, you've got to abide by the rules," Howard added.

Travelling to the UK roughly once a month has given Archie the opportunity to play against others his age, his dad said – but flying to Southampton for a weekend with a parent, travelling to venues and staying in hotels is expensive, costing between £500 and £1,000 per trip.

The family are hoping a sponsor might come forward to champion a local talent, having already received support from the Good Companions Club at the end of last year.

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