As the elite of world snooker prepare for this week’s World Championships, two of the game’s biggest names have been in touch with top coach Del Hill in a bid to find the vital edge which makes the difference between being a champ and an also-ran.
World number-one Mark Selby and 2006 champion Graeme Dott are both hoping that the coach’s expertise can land them the World Snooker Championship trophy.
Top gun Selby, striving to win his first world title, visits Hill’s Friskney Snooker Farm from his Leicester base.
And even when competing in championships as far afield as China, he keeps in regular touch with his coach.
It was Del’s knowledge, both of tactics and Dott’s opponents, that played such a major part in guiding the 80-1 outsider to victory at Sheffield’s Crucible seven years ago.
In the final he beat Peter Ebdon and, in the semi-final, four-time champ Ronnie O’Sullivan, both previous world champions coached by Del.
Now currently ranked No 11 in the world, Dott has again turned to Del, and only a week ago travelled from his Glasgow home to the guru’s Snooker Farm in Friskney for some intensive work on technique and tactics.
Now he feels ready to face the heat of the Crucible and make another bid for glory.
Dott readily acknowledges the debt he owes to Del, so much so that he has signed a copy of his autobiography Frame of Mind: “To Del. We did it!!”
Glasgow Rangers fan Dott also handed over a football signed by the Ibrox stars to his coach and Chelsea fanatic Del a few days ago.