While the professional circuit enters its busiest period of the season, the European amateur scene is also in for a hectic time over the next fortnight in Malta.
First up is the European Under-21 Championship from tomorrow until next Thursday before the Men’s and Masters Team Championships get under way toward the end of the month.
A 15-strong team representing Ireland is being sent to contest the three tournaments.
A lot has been said about it and other issues concerning Irish snooker over the last couple of weeks but at the end of the day the fact remains that these players have been given the opportunity to wear the green waistcoat and therefore are deserving of the country’s support.
Josh Boileau finished runner-up in the Under-21s last year when he lost to Oliver Lines in Romania and, having fallen at the final hurdle of the World Under-21s in 2014 as well, will be eager to go one step further this time around.
Of course, triumph would guarantee a spot on the Main Tour for the 19 year-old, a feat the Kildare cueist has openly expressed his desire to achieve in his previous blogs right here on SnookerHQ.
Boileau will be expecting to comfortably get out of his group at least, but in the knockouts could face stiff opposition from the likes of Rhys Clark, Jamie Clarke and Kacper Filipiak.
Quartet Aaron Moyles, Shane Bates, Darren Cusack and Stephen Bateman, who reached the knockout phase 12 months ago, are the other young Irish contenders.
Then, three teams will be attempting to gain Men’s Team Championship glory with the pairings of Rodney Goggins and Brendan O’Donoghue, and Michael Judge with Robert Murphy looking particularly dangerous.
Mark Owens partners Greg Casey in the third team while the Masters outfits consist of Anthony Bonnar and Peter Donegan, with Shane Gorman playing alongside Alan Matic.
The best of luck to all of the Irish competitors competing.
More info on players and the draws can be viewed at the EBSA website.