Burns set for trip Down Under

Ian Burns
Ian Burns
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Lancashire snooker player Ian Burns hopes that a trip Down Under can spark some better form at the table.

The Croston cueist jetted off to Melbourne today in readiness for the Australian Goldfields Open.

Burns won three qualifying matches earlier in the month to book his trip to Australia.

Awaiting him in the first round is China’s No.3 ranked player Xiao Guodong.

This is the first world ranking tournament of the season and Burns will be looking to have a better campaign after a somewhat disappointing 2014/15.

Burns, 30, told the Evening Post: “The competition is being held in Bendigo, a city about two hours drive away from Melbourne.

“I’ll get there on Thursday which will give me three days to get some sleep back and put some practice in before I play my first game.

“I qualified for this event two years ago and really enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a major tournament, all the big players are there apart from Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“I play Xiao Guodong from China who is a good player.

“This is the start of the season in snooker, the first big tournament of the year.

“The World Championship marks the end of the season, then there are a few weeks break before it all starts again.

“I qualified for Australia a couple of weeks ago in Crawley, winning three rounds.

“It was good to get a run of wins together and hopefully I can continue that over the next week or so.”

Burns is currently ranked 74th in the world, some hit and miss form last season seeing him slip.

So a good showing in the Goldfields tournament would be a major fillip.

“Last season was not that great to be honest,” said Burns.

“I didn’t win as many games as I would have liked. I don’t know why that was or what I could put it down to.

“Sometimes you get into a dip and things don’t run for you for whatever reason.

“Fortunately I have started this season well with the three qualifying wins in Crawley.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of time on practice table to try and get things right, while I’ve been exercising to keep in good physical shape.

“My aim for the season is to win more matches and hopefully start climbing back up the rankings.

“A good run in Australia would be a good start and hopefully I’m having to delay my flight back by a few days as that would mean I’ve made good progress.

“After Australia, I’ve got two weeks off before playing in the Riga Open in Latvia.

“Then there’s the qualifiers for the Shanghai Masters, so it all starts getting busy.”

Much of the practice done by Burns is at his parents’ home in Croston – he has a full-sized table in the extension.

“I get plenty of peace and quiet there, I’m able to put in the hours,” he said.

“You need that time to practice, to be able to concentrate on your game.”

This is the fifth year that the Goldfields Open has been staged.

The holder is world number seven Judd Trump who beat Neil Robertson last year.

Should Burns beat Guodong his second-round opponent will be Trump or Jack Lisowski.

World No.1 Mark Selby has a first-round game against Mark King.