Pinner snooker star Martin Gould insists he is determined to prove his worth at the UK Championships, just a year after an ear infection left him temporarily unable to walk.
The 34-year-old reached the second ranking final of his career back in July when he lost the Australian Open showpiece 9-8 to four-time world champion John Higgins.
And that made a nice change for Gould as he has been plagued by several ear infections over the last year, making it difficult for him to fly to tournaments abroad.
And after his most serious health scare last year, Gould is determined to take every chance he has to make the major tournaments.
“I got an ear infection just before Christmas, which turned out to be a really nasty one,” he said.
“It caused me to not be able to open my mouth for two weeks, and I lost two stone in weight in seven to ten days.
“I’ve had three ear infections since then, and touchwood, I haven’t had one since June.
“I’ve been really grateful to my specialist; he’s done a good job in making sure I’ve been able to go to a few tournaments.
“If you are not going to tournaments to win then there is no point in going.
“There are no weak players in the tournaments anymore.
“You used to be able to count on one hand how many people you thought could win the tournament.
“Now you need to use your hands, fingers, toes, everything, to work out who could win and I want to be one of them.”
The UK Championships kick off on November 24 at the York Barbican, with reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan choosing not to defend his title.
And after being knocked out in the second round of the tournament last year, Gould is eager to push on and see how far he can go this time around.
“The UK Championship is one of the big tournaments,” he added.
“My main aim is to get to the latter stages of every event, so it would be nice to get to the finals weekend.
“It would be even better if I was to pick up a trophy and the nice cheque at the end of it.
“But you take one match at a time and try to find your best form when you need it.”
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