Duffy aiming to trump friend after joining tour

Sheffield rookie Adam Duffy cues off his first season on the professional tour this month determined to follow in the footsteps of Judd Trump.

The duo grew up together on the junior circuit, Bristolian Trump staying at the Duffy family home in Eckington when competing in the north.

So when Trump shocked the rest of the snooker world by winning the China Open in April, then reaching the final of the Betfred.com World Championship last month, it came as no surprise to 22-year-old Duffy.

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Duffy, awarded the Paul Hunter Scholarship in 2009, is determined to emulate Trump after slogging his way through qualifying at Q School, beating off rivals from around the world to earn a coveted tour card.

He is on the practice table eight hours a day, and has been boxing at Brendan Ingle’s famous Wincobank gymnasium to get himself fit for the challenges to come.

“It’s just sunk in that I’m going to be on the tour,” said Duffy, who was at the Crucible alongside Trump’s family to watch his long-time friend lose to John Higgins in a thrilling final.

“I have been practising solid for three months before the qualifiers, eight hours a day, and it’s paid off. I am delighted.”

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Duffy plans to spend time training with Trump at his London base, alongside Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“We played together on the junior circuit and got on like a house on fire,” said former Eckington Comprehensive pupil Duffy.

“Hopefully now I am on the Tour, I will be going down to his place in London and practice with him, Ronnie and a few of the Chinese players.

“I wasn’t surprised at Judd’s success last season. When we were juniors I knew he was going to be an absolute class act. He has worked hard this year and it has paid off; you get everything when you work hard.

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“I was at the World Championship with him for a few days, went to the final with his mum, dad and brother, and the after-party where they had all the presentations. I thought ‘I want a bit of this’. “

Duffy, who sprung a surprise by beating former Scottish Open champion David Gray 4-2 to earn his tour spot, certainly has a packed schedule for the next 12 months, including the Players’ Tour Championship with events in Germany, Belgium, Prague.

“I am lucky living in Sheffield, I get to stay in my own bed. What other tournament can you get on the tram to the match?”

Duffy joins Leeds duo Peter Lines, 41, and 26-year-old Dave Grace, who also qualified via Q School, and Bradford’s Simon Bedford, 35, on the tour which starts Saturday in Sheffield with a PTC event.

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