Will Bond Defect To The East?

Nigel Bond is looking forward to defending the 888casino.com World Seniors Championship title in Portsmouth next month, but has revealed that his snooker career could lead to a permanent move to Russia.


Bond beat Tony Chappel 2-0 in the final last year and will be aiming for back-to-back titles at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on October 19 and 20. Green baize legends like Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor and Cliff Thorburn will also competing for the £18,000 top prize at the Sky-televised event.


Bond, age 47 from Derbyshire, is still going strong on the sport’s main tour and is ranked 44th in the world. But the player nicknamed 00-147 admits that he will consider moving base to eastern Europe in years to come.


“I have spent a lot of time in Russia, coaching players,” said Bond. “There is an academy in Moscow now and there is so much enthusiasm for snooker there. At the moment I am still enjoying professional snooker and I’m still competitive, but there could come a time when it makes financial sense for me to go over there and coach full time.


“I have also recently been to Macedonia to play an exhibition. It’s amazing to see these places where you would never think they have even heard of snooker, but so many people there watch the coverage on Eurosport and they love it.


“The main circuit now is fantastic for young players but for the older guys, the travelling is the downside. When you go to places like Australia and China regularly, it’s hard to get over the jet lag and it does tell on your body. That’s why I've started doing some cycling to stay fit, just a few miles around where I live, two or three times a week.”


Bond won the British Open in 1996 and reached the final of the World Championship in 1995. He lost in that Crucible final to Hendry, and he’s delighted to see the Scot among the field at the World Seniors for the first time.


“Stephen will be fired up and I’m sure he’ll be there to win,” added Bond. “Realistically I think those who are still playing regularly will have the best chance of taking the title.


“It was fantastic to win it last year and it’s just such a fun weekend because it’s chance to catch up with all of the players from the 1980s and 90s and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The venue in Portsmouth was packed both days which added to the occasion and hopefully it will be the same this year.”


TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW and start at just £15. For details call 02392 6265 or visitwww.worldsnooker.com/tickets


There are also some fabulous VIP tickets available which include:


• All day ticket

• Full access to the players' lounge

• Reserved seating in the arena

• One drink voucher

• Poster

• Commentary Ear Piece

• Complimentary Tea and Coffee


So get your tickets booked now and enjoy a wonderful weekend of snooker and fun!