snooker players
Features, Main News

The 2024/25 snooker season: who are the rookie players?

The 2024/25 snooker season commences on Monday, but who are the rookie players who will be cueing up for the first time this term?

The ranking event version of Championship League Snooker is open to all professionals competing on the main tour, and there will be plenty of new faces on the circuit during the upcoming campaign.

So far, there are 125 confirmed spots on the main tour, and while not all of them will be competing in Leicester next week, we should expect to see each of them play at some point over the next eleven or so months.

The nomination from the ABSC African champion is still to be determined while no decision has been made regarding invitational tour cards as of yet.

However, ahead of next week’s tournament at the Mattioli Arena, there are 15 rookie players on the 2024/25 snooker season roster.

Here is a brief overview of who they are and how they gained professional status.

Cheung Ka Wai

Cheung Ka Wai emerged as the 2024 champion at the World Snooker Federation (WSF) Open, the prestigious global international event for amateur players.

The 24 year-old from Hong Kong thrashed Gao Yang 5-0 in the final to secure his first two-year card.

Bulcsú Révész

Bulcsú Révész became Hungary’s first professional snooker player by capturing the WSF Junior Championship in Albania.

Aged just 17, Révész overcame Gong Chenzhi in the final and later said: “It’s just amazing. I didn’t expect anything before the tournament.”

Robbie McGuigan

Robbie McGuigan triumphed at the EBSA European Amateur Championship, beating Craig Steadman 5-4 in the final.

The 19 year-old Northern Irishman was once a stepson to world number one Mark Allen, who was married to McGuigan’s mother until 2020.

Liam Davies

Liam Davies won the EBSA European Under-21 Championship with a 5-3 defeat of Antoni Kowalski in Sarajevo.

The Welsh teenager, who turns 18 at the end of June, is widely being tipped as a potential star of the future.

Jonas Luz

Back in October, Jonas Luz became one of the first players to guarantee his professional status for the 2024/25 campaign.

The 37 year-old edged fellow Brazilian Fabinho to lift the 2023 Pan American Snooker Championship in Rio de Janeiro.

Bai Yulu

The newest nominee from the World Women’s Snooker Tour is China’s Bai Yulu.

The 20 year-old captured a maiden women’s world crown on home soil this year and is regarded as a generational talent.

Artemijs Zizins

Artemijs Zizins produced a fine display to emerge from Q School, becoming the first player from Latvia to secure pro status.

Having just turned 18, Zizins is one of a number of young players from Europe who have broken through this year.

Haydon Pinhey

Haydon Pinhey (pictured) would have been forgiven for becoming disillusioned with the game of snooker having failed at the final hurdle of Q School each year between 2020 and 2023.

But the Englishman, 27, made it fifth time lucky and finally got over the winning line at the qualifying competition this year.

Antoni Kowalski

Having narrowly missed out on a main tour ticket through his defeat to Davies at the European under-21s, Kowalski excelled at Q School.

The 20 year-old from Poland counted James Cahill among his conquests as he gained promotion to the pro scene for the first time.

Lim Kok Leong

Malaysia’s newest professional is Lim Kok Leong, who successfully came through the Asia-Oceania leg of Q School in Bangkok.

Leong beat Gao Yang 4-3 in the final round and at 29 represents one of the older rookies this season.

Haris Tahir

Snooker is popular in Pakistan, but the country is still waiting for its first notable star to truly breakthrough and move up the ranks.

Could it be Haris Tahir? The 24 year-old graduated from Asia-Oceania Q School, beating Lan Yuhao of China in the final round.

Kreishh Gurbaxani

India is looking for players to emulate the likes of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta from a decade ago.

Kreishh Gurbaxani is the huge country’s latest hope after the 21 year-old also came through Q School in Thailand.

Amir Sarkhosh

Amir Sarkhosh becomes Iran’s newest professional, and at 33 he is the oldest of all the rookies competing on the 2024/25 circuit.

Sarkhosh won one of the three spots that were available through the Q Tour Global Playoffs.

Gong Chenzhi

Somewhat surprisingly, there are only three rookie snooker players from mainland China this season and two of them come from the CBSA China Tour.

Gong Chenzhi, still only 17, made headlines last season by beating Jordan Brown in the Wuhan Open.

Huang Jiahao

The other nominee from the CBSA China Tour is 29 year-old Huang Jiahao.

Huang has been around for several years and even reached the final of the 2021 Haining Open, but this will be his first campaign as a professional player.

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Jay Brannon

    Gong, Davies and Zizins are the ones I anticipate faring best.

    Nice to see a former Liverpool midfielder try and secure the South American spot!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.