Scotland needs academy to 'unearth champions' - Alan McManus

Alan McManus
Alan McManus has won two ranking tournaments in his career

Scotland is missing out on future champions because of a lack of a snooker academy, says former world number six Alan McManus.

The Scot, beaten 6-2 by Kurt Maflin in the UK Championship third round, says an approach similar to China's would be "guaranteed" to produce players.

McManus' countrymen Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Graeme Dott have 12 world championship titles between them.

"The key to it is having an academy," McManus, 48, told BBC Scotland.

"With the success Scotland's had down the years, we should be granted a facility or funding.

"If that happened then we would produce good players because they are out there, they're just not being unearthed. We would produce players, that is guaranteed. We would produce champions."

Nine of the 50 in the current world rankings are Chinese and McManus is not surprised by China's strength.

"They actually do it in a way that we did in the UK 25, 30, 40 years ago where you have a good junior system," he explained. "They develop the youngsters really young and that's the best way.

"They're actually famed the Chinese players for having super straight cue action, good techniques.

"Every season there's probably two or three that come off the conveyor belt. There would be somewhere between 25 and 30 pros on the main tour.

"To have a facility, it wouldn't cost the world. It wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to keep running. To re-cover a bunch of tables twice, three times a year would cost £5,000, £10,000.

"It's a numbers game. If, in Scotland, you have 1,000 young kids getting tuition once or twice a week. Out of that you're probably going to get 30 or 40, maybe 50 decent players and out of those 40 or 50, you're going to have probably half a dozen who become real, real good players."

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