krooger team
Will there ever be a Polish World Champion? Przemek Kruk hopes so...

 

Pic by Bartlomiej Zborowski

 

Former Polish under-21 champion Przemek Kruk has launched a snooker team with the ultimate goal of producing a World Champion from his homeland.

 

Kruk, who has been a snooker commentator for Polish Eurosport since 1997, launched his stable, called the Krooger Team, this week. Alongside Kruk himself, the other players are:

 

Kacper Filipiak. The 18-year-old had one season on main tour in 2011/12 and beat players including John Higgins, Marco Fu and Stephen Maguire at the 2011 World Cup. Multiple Polish champion in various age categories, and current Polish Champion in the open formula. Amateur European Champion in 2011.

 

Michal Zielinski. Age 22- and eight-time Polish champion in various age categories. Runner-up to Filipiak in the latest Polish Championship.

 

Grzegorz Biernadski. Age 21 and has represented Poland many times in amateur events. Polish under-21 Champion in 2010.

 

Kruk said: "Our short term goals are to send players to European Tour events so they can gain experience, and to establish a snooker academy for young players, as young as 5 years old, who might become part of the Krooger Team.

 

"We hope to see a Polish player on the main tour by 2016/17, a player in the top 16 by 2020, a ranking event winner by 2023, and a Polish winner of the World Championship by 2026.

 

"Our work will be based on developing snooker in Poland and creating an environment for the players to fulfil their potential, while working with sponsors and the media

 

"It's the first step of a long journey, but my hope is that it will create momentum and perhaps a few more teams will pop up in Poland soon. This would create some competitiveness, which is always good for standards of the game. Even if the Krooger Team is the only professional snooker team in Poland, I believe it has the chance to be successful and that the goals above are achievable. After all, there's no reason to think players born in Poland are less talented than those in the UK, China, Thailand, India or anywhere else."

 

Filipiak, Zielinski and Biernadski have all entered the Bulgarian Open European Tour event, while Filipiak will also be playing in next week's SangSom Six-Red World Championship.

 

Poland hosts the popular Gdynia Open European Tour event - for ticket details for the 2015 tournament click here