CYMS snooker star, Aaron Goldrick, in deep concentration as he lines up a shot.

Aaron gets his big break

A young Kilnaleck man will take up his place on the Irish team in the U21 European Snooker Championships.

Aaron Goldrick (19) is part of the team who will head off to Lisbon at the beginning of October to take on the best of the best in Europe.

A delighted Aaron told the Celt: "It will be a great experience to play against all the best underage players in Europe. A lot of these players will be intent on pushing on in the coming years and turning professional."

Members of the CYMS in Cavan, where Aaron first learned to play snooker and developed a passion for the game, are wishing him the best of luck on the international stage.

The secretary of the CYMS Committee, Paddy O’Reilly, said it was a great credit to Aaron. He presented him with a cheque and the club's very best wishes for success.

"His skill is being recognised by the fact that he has been selected for the Irish Under 21 Team, taking on the young elite players in European Snooker Championships in Portugal at the end of the month," said Mr O’Reilly, who has been involved with the CYMS since 1956.

"It is the first time during my many years in the club to witness any club member reach these standards. So hopefully, Aaron you will follow in the footsteps of Leona Maguire and emulate her feats at the snooker table," enthused Mr O’Reilly.

Aaron credits the club with developing his talent. He joined when he was aged just eight years. "I just wanted to play snooker. I enjoyed it very much. I loved coming in to play here," he said.

The club reopened this month, having been closed for the past 18 months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is good to get back to practising and playing against the top lads in the club," said Aaron, who's encouraging other young lads, aged 12 and upwards, to get involved.

"There are great facilities. There are three excellent tables and the room is always cosy and warm and there is a friendly atmosphere," he said.

Aaron is also an apprentice technician with Eir and hopes to qualify this November. "I get home at around 5pm and there is still time to practice," he said.

Nerves dissipate according to Aaron when "you get a frame on the board".

The CYMS Snooker Club in the only snooker emporium in the county. It was formerly a British Legion hut, until the new building replaced it in 1997.

Recruitment drive

Committee member Michael Meehan explained how the club is currently recruiting new members and reaching out on social media.

"We are urging anyone that is Facebook or Instagram to like and follow the pages and come in here and join the club. The Facebook page is CYMS Cavan,” he said.

Michael joined the club in 1997, aged 10 years, and in later years joined the committee. "We endeavour to come up with new ideas every year with a view to promoting the club and attracting more members," he said.

Mr O’Reilly added that, in his view, they have the best snooker tables in the country. "We are the cheapest by a long shot for a game of snooker - €2 for 20 minutes – most snooker halls would be charging much more," he said.

The membership for Juniors is €5 a year and it is €20 for adults, or €200 for a life membership.

Marius Kettles organises the competitions in the club. There is a handicapped competition coming up in the near future. The entry is free with €600 in prizes up for grabs. A handicap competition means that less experienced players are given points at the start and usually up to 30 teams participate.

"The standard is as good now as every I have seen it in the past," said Marius, who has won a few competitions himself.

You have to be a member of the club to participate. There are currently 125 life members, 45 seniors and 18 juniors.

The club is one of the oldest in Cavan. It is now in existence up on 130 years.

New members are always welcome. For more information, drop into the club or phone chairman, Enda Corr, on 086-1550416; Eugene Smith on 086-2587174 or Paddy O'Reilly on 086-8551988.