Hansen lives the dream
NEWLY crowned Australian pool player Marcus Hansen says his early days involved in eightball were a major factor in his selection in the national blackball side.
His love of the eightball version of pool started when he was an eager youngster.
"When I first started messing with the game at the tender age of five, I used to drag a box round the table to stand on that my grandfather organised for me so I could reach the table and play with him,” Hansen said
"But it was at 15 when things really started going to another level when I started competitive play and my uncle Les Griffiths was the Gladstone Eightball Association's most successful player thus far with seven straight titles.”
He saw my passion for the game and started taking me under his wing and showing me how to win in every aspect of the game.” Fast-track 30 years, he will be a part of history. Hansen will play in the World Blackball Championships in Killarney, Ireland, in Australia's first-ever team in the sport from October 11 to 17.
"I was heavily involved in the sport in the early days and we had a snooker hall in Toolooa Street and as a bunch of young fellas, we stuck a team together and off we went to play in the state championships,” Hansen said.
Hansen played in three eightball world championships when he lived in England. But he said to wear Australian colours as part of a six-man blackball team would be special.
"I have lived in the UK for 22 years and have only ever qualified for the World Championships as an independent entry and could never play for Australia because I lived in the UK,” Hansen said.
"This World Blackball Championships invitation was by independent selectors to play for Australia after I beat numerous internationals in the past and have already played in three eightball world championship programs.
"I'm so passionate about it as it's the conclusion to a life-time dream to be able to represent my country.”