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“I’m not here to make the numbers up” insists Oliver Brown after solid start to life on the tour

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Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers 2022 | Draw, Live Scores and Schedule of Play

Oliver Brown in action (WST)

Oliver Brown insists he is “not here just to make the numbers up” as he bids to continue his impressive start to life on the World Snooker Tour.

The 28-year-old earned a two-year Tour Card after winning the EBSA European Snooker Championship in Portugal last October.

Brown had previously competed in several professional tournaments as an amateur top-up and notably reached the Last 16 of the 2019 Gibraltar Open.

However, after a number of recent near misses at Qualifying School, the Derbyshire cueist has finally cemented his place on the main tour for the next two seasons and is relishing his chance to make a mark.

“I always said that I wouldn’t be happy until I’d had a crack at the tour and been a professional so I’m really happy that I stuck at it even though I’ve had so many near misses,” Brown told Live Snooker.

“It’s an up and down game but I’ve stuck at it and ended up getting the rewards in the end.

“It’s so tough to break through onto the tour and I’m really happy with the title I’ve won to get on the tour.

“I was very happy to be European Champion but I felt it was a weight lifted off my shoulders as well.”

Brown secured his first main tour win at the expense of former UK Champion Stephen Maguire in the European Masters qualifiers in July, defying two centuries from the Scotsman to close out a memorable 5-4 success.

The pair have been drawn together again in the qualifying round of the Northern Ireland Open, and Brown admits he is confident of a repeat result.

“It’s tough to keep drawing top opponents, you’re not going to beat everyone all year, but beating players like Maguire gives you the confidence you can do it,” he added.

“Obviously with getting a win under my belt against him last time I feel confident again but he’s a top player and we all know what he can do.

“I feel like there’s not a lot of pressure on me, it’s all on him really, so I’ll just go out and enjoy it again.

“I’m new to the tour but I feel like that win has really spurred me on to try and make an impact this season so fingers crossed I can get the win again tonight and book a trip to Belfast.

“I want to make an impact and show players that I’m not here just to make the numbers up.”

Brown has been working closely with renowned coach Chris Henry in recent years and believes that partnership has helped elevate his game to the next level.

He explained: “I’ve been working with Chris Henry quite a bit for the last few years now so I just take everything we’ve spoken about into the game.

“If I’m playing well and I do exactly what I know I can do then I feel like I can beat anyone.

“When James Cahill qualified for The Crucible (2019) and beat Ronnie [O’Sullivan], that was the year I spoke to Chris.

“I was in a bit of a rut really, I just needed to change a few things so I spoke to him and I went out to Bruges for the Challenge Tour and had a few hours with him there.

“It took off from there and I understood everything he said to me.

“I believe that it’s partly down to him why I did win the Europeans [Amateur Championship]. I didn’t play my best in the final or that well all week but I just dug in there and that’s what we’d been speaking about.”

Brown’s rematch with Maguire takes place in Wigan from 7pm BST on Tuesday August 23.

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