TEENAGE pool player Cole Bedford will be representing Wales at the EEPF European Championships in Malta next month.
Fifteen-year-old Cole has been picked for Wales’ junior team after an outstanding 12 months in the sport.
The Tenbury High School pupil is also expected to be in Wales’ junior team at the World Championships in Blackpool in June.
Cole shone in front of the Premier Sports cameras in the autumn and was crowned the junior singles UK blackball BAPTO pool champion.
“Being the UK BAPTO junior champion is a dream come true,” said Cole, who practises at Shooters in Leominster.
“I practise every Saturday at Shooters for about five hours and I play some week nights, too.”
“Tom Cousins is a pool player from this area that I look up to.
“Tom’s from Hereford and used to play at the Potting Shed in Hereford.”
“I am now sponsored by the Potting Shed.”
Cole won the open Hereford men’s singles last year and is also the youngest winner of the Ludlow men’s singles.
“I started playing in the local leagues at the age of 11,” he recalled.
“I played for pool for Herefordshire county for a year before starting to play for the Worcestershire junior team when I was 13.
“I am still part of the team now and just been asked to play for the men’s team
Cole started playing pool at the age of six at a pool hall, then called Re-rack, which had been established by his parents.
“My dads’s involvement in the industry introduced me to the sport that I love and has allowed me to develop as a player,” he recalled.
He made his Wales debut at the Home Nations in Edinburgh last year.
He reached the last eight of the men’s singles – overcoming pre-tournament favourites Jonjo Sharkey - at last year’s the BAPTO UK pool finals at Lyons Holiday Park in Rhyl.
“I played in the junior singles and played four rounds to get to the final.
“It was a dream come true to get to a final being aired on Premier Sports.
“I struggled throughout the final but my opponent, Jordan Cunningham, didn't take his one chance to win. I came back from 2-1 down to win the final 3-2.”