He said: “When we decided to establish the association three years ago, there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the way the amateur game was being run. We knew there was a lot of talent out there but change was definitely needed if the game in Scotland was going to thrive. We have a tournament structure and environment in which players are comfortable playing. It is important that the players are happy playing in tournaments as if they do not enjoy it they will lose interest and not come back.”
Leslie, who has already competed in two tournaments on the professional tour, said: “For the last few years, Scott and I have been playing week in week out in good tournaments and it has really helped us. I can remember going to tournaments before and not enjoying them. The players wanted change and since Caledonian Snooker took over the running of Scottish snooker, things have just got better and better.”
Craig, meanwhile, admits that if the conveyor belt of young Scottish snooker talent is going to keep rolling, then the hard work needs to continue. He added: “We have got two more very promising young players, Ross Muir of Musselburgh and Stonehouse’s Rhys Clark going off to China this month for the World Under-21 Championship and we’ve got more youngsters coming through the ranks behind them.
“We are constantly looking to improve and two years ago we introduced an under 14 category. We are already seeing young Scottish players show potential and gain good experience at an earlier age. Overall, it is very promising indeed and I think if we can keep doing what we are doing then we will have more players following Michael and Scott into the professional ranks in the not too distant future.”
European snooker champion Scott Donaldson praises his parents for their support
SNOOKER star Scott Donaldson yesterday praised his parents for their part in his European Championship success.
The Perth potter clinched the continent’s amateur title in style when he defeated Ireland’s Brendan O’Donoghue 7-3 in the final in Latvia last Thursday.
And yesterday he hailed parents Hector and Sheila, of Cedar Drive, for showing him the road to success.
“My dad has paid me into tournaments over six or seven years and my mum has helped too,” the teenage star told PA Sport.
“Dad has believed in me since an early age. I was down and wanted to quit when I was 13 because I thought this wasn’t for me and he picked me up.
“He’s spent so much money on me that it’s his title as much as mine.”
Scott (18) said he was still in a state of euphoria after his incredible title win, which has earned him a two-year pass into the professional game.
“I left school two years ago and thought I would give it a shot at going full-time, but I didn’t know how it would work out,” he admitted.
“To get my pro ticket by winning such a big tournament is a massive bonus. I went close at the Cue School last month but this is miles better.
“To win the main European Championship when I’m 18 is just brilliant.