2011 Mosconi Cup Players Comments

Chris Melling

Chris Melling (EUROPE)

"It's an absolute dream come true for me to represent Europe in this years Mosconi Cup and I think that I certainly deserve my spot after a great year. I think that I bring certain values to the table, I know that I can intimidate anyone and I've definitely got the game to blow anyone away in quick time. I also think I bring entertainment too.
I always knew I could achieve my dream since I was a small boy to represent Europe, the only problem for me was switching from snooker to English pool, which was tough. To be successful at one game you have to be able to concentrate on that one game only, I've always been a great potter of the ball, but the game of 9 ball is not that easy.
I quickly learned that it's probably the hardest to be successful at because there are so many great players and you also need a lot of luck. I'm really excited about playing in Vegas and in front of a packed crowd. We have a great team and I'm very confident of our team winning, but the Americans are also very strong too, so you cannot discount them, otherwise they will turn you over.
I was told a few months ago by other players that I was definitely in the team, but I wanted to make a statement and finish No 1 in the points race, not just qualify. My year has been brilliant on the table, but many people do not know what I have gone through off the table. It's been the worst ever!
I've had 6 friends that passed away suddenly and if that wasn't hard enough to take, my mum got diagnosed with lung and brain cancer while I was playing in China in 2010, three weeks later she passed away and I felt like my world had ended, I didn't know where to turn or what to do, even now I have a tear running down my face as I write this piece for you.
I'm so lost without her, but she always told me to stay strong and don't be upset or angry. One month after my mother passed away my dog died, this loss may sound odd to some people, but he was like part of my family, we had him for 13 years and it was like someone was punishing me for something.
I was chosen by Matchroom Sport to play in the World Cup of Pool and the World Masters in the Philippines, as I was setting off my manager had a heart attack and passed away. He put me on this road to success and without him and my family none of this would be possible, they made me what I am today and everything I win is because of them.
My friends keep telling me "it's your year Chris". Well, my reply is this is: "You try going through what I've been through then tell me its my year." My year would end great if Europe win the Mosconi Cup and we lift the trophy, I hope that would make my mum, manager and my friends very proud.

Thanks Geoff

"My feelings on being selected for the Mosconi Cup for the 15th straight year is that it is a very big honor. I have been playing well the last few months so I am ready to get it going. This event is very different than any other event we play in all year, because of several reasons.
1. Playing on a team with your fellow countrymen.
2. The atmosphere is so electric.
3. Most importantly the pressure that one is put under is huge, more so in the scotch doubles format, when you have the added pressure of not wanting to let your playing partner down.
I have some great memories of the past Mosconi Cups. One in particular was when I was down 5-1 to Darren Appleton in 2009 in Las Vegas, and I came back to win 6-5 and my family, teammates, and the greatest fans in the world were there to experience it with me.
The pressure that the Mosconi Cup brings is very different than anything else. For example you have a thirty second shot clock, playing for your team, and playing for your country against the best that Europe has to offer, now that's pressure. Being picked for this event is special because we work all year to make the team.
My emotions will be running very high at the event this year, because of such a hard year my family and I have had with my son's medical issues among other things. They will be there to celebrate his recovery with me. Every time I look at them in the stands I will get very emotional. By the way i want to say a big THANK YOU to all the fans in the pool world that was praying for my son in his time of need. It really worked!
I also want to say congratulations to Charlie Williams for being selected as captain this year. He has a lot of great qualities that he will bring to Team USA. Coaching skills, motivation skills, He is going to try to get us all on an exercise program. I don't know if he will succeed with that one!
I also do not agree with all the criticism he got from the fans on the forums, and I know he will have Team USA's best interest at heart. Finally I am looking forward to seeing all the fans in Vegas. GO USA!!!!!