Steve Davis
Steve Davis is now playing his 36th season on the professional circuit, but admits he'd love to be a young player starting his career.


The Nugget turns 56 in August and, in line with his ongoing ambition, continues to keep his world ranking lower than his age, currently sitting 51st on the list. But as he looks ahead to a trip to Sofia for the Victoria Bulgarian Open, where he plays a local amateur on Saturday (tickets for the event on sale - click here) the six-time World Champion admits he wishes he was at the other end of the age scale.


"I'm excited about the new season and I would love to be a young player starting out on the tour," said Davis, who beat James Cahill 5-2 with a top break of 131 in last week's Wuxi Classic qualifiers. "It's the first time in recent years I have felt like that. At my age I am just enjoying the challenge of trying to keep my place on the tour and I know I am not going to play a leading role in many of the tournaments.


"I don't feel nostalgic about my younger days because it was so long ago I can hardly remember. I just think that the young players now have an incredible chance to travel the world, play snooker and become famous. It interesting to watch them and see how the deal with it, how they cope with winning and losing."


Looking ahead to the trip to south east Europe, the winner of 28 ranking events added: "Sometimes when you go to snooker tournaments you don't get much of a chance to look around the city, but last year in Sofia I had a walk around and it really is a beautiful and very interesting place.


"The fans were obviously very passionate about snooker and the atmosphere inside the arena was fantastic. When we go to new countries there is a often a sense that the people are genuinely pleased to see the top players. The fans come from a long way to see live snooker and meet the players and for us that is very rewarding.


"It's like a festival of snooker because there are so many matches. The fans are spolit for choice in terms of who they want to watch. This time the Bulgarian Open is very early in the season so we are all hopeful and optimistic about the season ahead.


"The whole snooker tour now is growing, we have a full calendar and a total of £8million in prize money which is more than double what it was a few years ago. There are many more countries who want to stage tournaments which means that the future is very bright. Hopefully there will be a snowball effect and there will be many more promoters and people who love the game who want to stage events."


Victoria Bulgarian Open match schedule