Young guns keep eye on the 8-ball
EIGHT BALL: Two Gladstone young guns shone at the Australian Junior Eight Ball Championships last week in Albury, New South Wales.
Billy Browne from Gladstone Eight Ball Association walked away with a spot on the Australian team.
Roxie Cooper from Port City Cue Sports represented the Northern Territory at the event after just 12 months in the sport.
Browne, 15, has played competitive pool for four years.
He represented Queensland for three of those after taking out the state title for under-15s.
Browne finished third at the national championships for the under-18 category, making him the youngest player in Queensland to be selected for the open Australian side.
“It feels pretty good,” Browne said.
“I’m the vice-captain for the Aussie team and will go to England for the World Championships.”
Browne’s strategy is one of his biggest strengths.
“I have multiple game plans and play more than one game,” he said.
“It’s all about tactics.”
Dad Peter said he was very proud of what Browne had achieved since dedicating his time to the sport.
“He’s achieving things he said he would when he first picked up a cue,” he said.
“So far he’s followed his journey and dedicated himself to achieving goals.
“He went down to hopefully make the Australian side and he did that.”
Peter said it would be exciting to watch Browne represent the country at such a young age.
Cooper, 10, came 14th at the under-12 nationals, and it was a big effort considering she only began playing competitively a year ago.
She just missed out on a spot on the Queensland team after placing third at the state rials last year.
Within two weeks, Cooper was contacted by the Northern Territory team to represent them at nationals.
“The fact that I got to go was really exciting,” Cooper said.
Mum Rachel said they decided it would be a good opportunity.
She said Cooper really enjoyed the competition and learnt a lot.
“Hopefully she’ll make the Queensland side this year and she’s going to do a lot of training,” Rachel said.
“There’s still a lot more practice but she definitely has the passion and drive for it.”
Cooper plays pool about three times a week.
She said her biggest strength was safety.
“When I totalled people, they couldn’t hit their ball and I left them on the cush,” Cooper said.
“Lots of people can’t shoot up from the cush.”
Her favourite part of the sport is breaking because if you sink a ball you get another shot.