Snooker news - 'I won’t be going to Q School' – Joe Perry will retire rather than chase former glories
Joe Perry is relishing playing in front of crowds next season as he bids to make up for lost time. 'The Gentleman' struggled behind closed doors last term, reaching only one quarter-final at the UK Championship, but the former Masters finalist feels like he has the desire to challenge the snooker elite as the world number 20 bids to move back inside the top 16.
Joe Perry has revealed he will retire from the elite World Snooker Tour circuit if his game is no longer good enough to challenge at the top of the sport.
The world number 20 toiled for results last season as he could only reach the UK Championship last eight, losing 6-4 to Lu Ning while failing to qualify for the World Championship at the Crucible in April after a surprise 6-2 defeat to Jamie Clarke in the last 80.
The 2015 Players champion does not plan to chase former glories at the age of 46 if he can't play to the level he expects of himself.
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"I’ll put it on record now and say that once I drop off the tour, I won’t be going to Q School. That will be me done," said Perry.
I’ve played snooker all of my life and I don’t really have that passion for anything else. So ultimately if the opportunity was available to go down the punditry and commentary route I’d go for it. That would be my dream really, if I could nail that down I’d jump at it.
'The Gentleman' – who turned professional in 1992 – admits he is hungry to make up for lost time having struggled to motivate himself with no crowds due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I turned up for so many matches last year feeling like I was about to go for a best of seven down at the club," said the Cambridge cueman. "Because the standard is so ridiculously high these days, you can’t afford to have that attitude. You need to be switched on at all times.
"I did lose a lot of matches last year which I was quite a heavy favourite to win. My normal preparation just wasn’t available to me and I found myself going into games very cold.”
Watch the strange moment Joe Perry complains about opponent's towel in World Championship qualifier
With fans set to return to sporting events in the UK, Perry admits he is relishing the season ahead with the first ranking event of the campaign starting at the Championship League in Leicester on Sunday 18 July.
Perry lost 10-7 to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2017 Masters final, but would love to claim a major title on UK soil.
Joe Perry and Ronnie O'Sullivan during the Masters final. Picture: World Snooker.
Image credit: Eurosport
“That is the main thing that is keeping me going, my biggest motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I’d jump at the chance to win something overseas, but to do it at home and be able to share that with friends and family is a big motivation of mine," Perry told WST.
"I do believe that I have that win in me. Whether it comes or not, I don’t know. There are 128 of us starting out the season all believing we can go out and win one. Things have to go your way on a given week. There is no reason if those things come together that I can’t do it.
"I just have to be on my guard at all times because it is so tough.”