Preston snooker star Ian Burns admits he suffered a slump last season – but has vowed to make sure his third year on tour is his best one yet.
The 29-year-old failed to end the season inside the world’s top 64 but earned a fresh two-year tour card via the European Order of Merit.
Burns did, however, qualify for three ranking tournaments – but insists he did not push on as much as he hoped.
Narrow losses in the Wuxi Classic and Australian Open qualifiers suggest Burns’ luck will change sooner rather than later, and he intends to go globe-trotting before the new season is done.
“In the first season I did really well, got to China and into the Welsh Open,” he said.
“Last season probably wasn’t as good, I didn’t get to China and I missed out on India too. I would have preferred to get into the top 64 but only having another guaranteed year.
“I fell off but got a spot through Europe and another two years. But the way I look at it is that I’ve had another two years of experience.
“I’ve not got many goals but a few trips to China would be nice and there’s India as well. I’m just taking it as it comes and we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve got opportunities, especially through the PTCs as well, and there’s a new one in Latvia this year – you get to see all sorts of places. If I can have one good run in a tournament I can get up there. I know I’m capable of mixing it with the top 32, I’ve been playing and I’m more experienced as well.
“I’m looking forward to it – fingers crossed.”
Burns had cause to celebrate over the season break after tying the knot with partner Alison last month.
Practice naturally took a backseat but the newlywed was pleasantly surprised with his form after taking World No.38 Mark Joyce down to a decider in his Australian Open qualifier.
“It was more of the case that I lost the game than Mark winning it,” he said. “I was 3-1 up at the break and I had a good chance to go 4-1 and if I did that I could have almost just fallen over the line. But it was just not meant to be.
“But I was pleased with the way I played, especially as I only got married a few weeks ago – we had the wedding and the honeymoon just a few days before the Wuxi Classic qualifiers so I’ve not been back on the table long.”
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