WORLD Snooker's newest professional Aaron Hill is in preparation for his first season as a fully-fledged professional snooker player and has just spent some valuable time at the Victoria Snooker Academy in Sheffield ahead of the start of the World Snooker Tour season.
Hill, who is the current European U18 and U21 champion, loved it at the academy playing and beating the likes of Yan Bingtao 6-5 and Ashley Huggull 6-4 including three centuries in that pre-season practice match.
Hill arrived home last Saturday and you can be sure that it won’t be his last visit to the Vic Academy.
“The facilities are second to none with nine Star tables and top-class playing conditions. It is a great place to go to and it really sharpens up your game and when you are practicing with the top players in the world, day-in, day-out it makes such a difference to your game because one mistake and you're punished immediately.
"That is the kind of atmosphere I need to be in to compete at the top level."
Hill will be one of the many hopefuls ahead of the 2020/21 season with a lot of tournaments coming his way starting in Milton Keynes this month.
Hill will have some Irish company and opposition this year with the news that Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien are back on the WST.
“It is great to see Ken and Fergal on the tour, it is great for Irish snooker and with Fergal doing so well at Q School and Ken making it to the Senior World Championship final, they deserve it."
Hill will know the rigours of a travelling professional soon and the costs involved when you consider the high costs of going to the academy in Sheffield alone one can only imagine the running costs of competing on the tour.
Luckily for Aaron he has some secure backing.
“I am so lucky to have Tomás Singleton on board with me as my main sponsor and he has been brilliant for me and now also the Macau Sporting Club are coming on board too which is great. I want to than Tomás from the bottom of my heart and also I want to thank Finbarr Corkery at the Macau for his support it is deeply appreciated."
Hill will also get the full support of the local people from the Munster snooker family on September 10 at Lee Valley Golf Club where Connie O’Sullivan along with the Hill family are organising a golf fundraiser for Aaron.
Con O’Sullivan told Echo Sport: “Snooker at Aaron’s level is a very expensive business unless you are winning on a regular basis and that is tough, so Aaron will need all the support that he can get.
"Aaron is an exceptional snooker player with tons of natural talent and we want him to do great things on the table and days like the forthcoming golf fundraiser can take a bit of pressure off Aaron and his family and give him the freedom to concentrate on what he does best, play snooker.
"The support we have received from everyone is fantastic and there is no doubt but the snooker community in Munster and all over the country are firmly behind Aaron Hill and that is great."
The NGB for Snooker and Billiards RIBSA also recently set up a new player grant for players like Aaron Hill and it is something that Hill appreciates.
“I want to thank RIBSA for their support and I want to especially thank everyone who is coming to the golf day at Lee Valley and as for Connie O’Sullivan I want to say thank you Connie for everything."
So Aaron has tons of top class competitive snooker to look forward to as his professional career breaks of in the Championship League 1 from September 13-20 in Milton Keyes.
In fact, the opening eight tournaments will all be played in Milton Keyes and Aaron’s second event will be the European Masters the following week.
Hill then plays the Championship League 2, from September 28 until October 5, followed by the English Open two weeks later.
The Championship Leagues 3 brings October to a close and then Hill will be looking to qualify for the BetVictor German Masters and then the Northern Ireland Open is November 16-22 followed by three further events to end the year.