Germany’s Lukas Kleckers was one of four players to emerge from Q School Event One with a two-year Main Tour card on Sunday.
The 20 year-old becomes the first German player since Patrick Einsle to boast professional status and it comes at a time when snooker’s popularity in the country is arguably at its highest.
For the last six years, since the resurrection of the German Masters in 2011 at the Tempodrom, there have been several tournaments successfully staged in various cities across the nation.
Most of them have been extremely well-attended and the German audiences have gained a reputation as being the most appreciative and enthusiastic of all fans.
For that reason, it has been hoped that a young German talent would burst onto the scene and help continue the sport’s growth in the region.
Kleckers, a national champion in 2013, has long been considered their greatest hope, consistently reaching the latter rounds of various international amateur events such as the European and World Under-21 Championships.
The three-time German under-21 champion won the six matches required at the gruelling Q School in order to gain a pro ticket for the first time in his career.
En route he withstood a spirited comeback from Ma Tingpeng in the penultimate round when he led 3-0 only to see his Chinese opponent rally to force a decider.
Kleckers survived, advancing to the final round where he managed to overcome fallen professional Martin O’Donnell 4-1.
It will be very interesting to see how Kleckers will fare over the coming two seasons and what this might do for German and European snooker in general in the near future.
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Meanwhile, England’s Allan Taylor secured an immediate return to the circuit with a comprehensive 4-0 rout of free-scoring Sean O’Sullivan in the final round.
O’Sullivan had compiled the week’s two highest breaks, excellent runs of 140 and 133, but couldn’t get a foothold against Taylor, who required a snooker at 3-2 down to stay alive in his penultimate round encounter with Daniel Ward.
Elsewhere, a pair of other Englishmen booked their spots on the Main Tour with a couple of 4-2 triumphs in the final round.
Billy Joe Castle and Ashley Hugill, like Kleckers, will be making their debuts in a couple of weeks for the new season after victories over Paul Davison and William Lemons respectively.
For O’Donnell, O’Sullivan, Davison, and Lemons, the quartet will try again in Q School Event Two which gets under way on Monday in Preston.
The four of them will also be buoyed by the fact they are in a strong position as it stands to gain one of the four additional Main Tour places which will be provided via a Q School rankings system following the conclusion of both tournaments.
The Irish contingent didn’t fare particularly well in the first event and will know that they will have to rely solely on emerging successfully from Q School Two if they want to be plying their trade alongside the best in the business next season.