Allan Taylor: Determined to Reclaim His Dream at Q School

Despite being relegated from the circuit, Allan Taylor remains optimistic about his chances of lifting ranking silverware and is determined to keep his dream alive at Q School this week.

Taylor lost his professional status at the end of last season after a heartbreaking 10-9 defeat to Germany’s Lukas Kleckers in Crucible qualifying, where he missed the match ball.

After falling off the tour in 2019, Taylor spent a year as an MC for WST at the Home Nations Series before reclaiming his spot through the Challenge Tour Playoffs. Although this recent setback is significant, the 39-year-old is confident he can navigate Q School successfully, as he did in 2017.

“My advantage is that I’ve done it before. It’s not a pleasant environment, but you have to own your responsibility. I’ve put myself here, and it’s my fault. If I’d won a few of those first-round matches I lost last season, I wouldn’t be in this position. I can’t blame anyone but myself. It’s easier for me to deal with because it’s a fact. Facing facts helps you move forward quicker. Yes, having just dropped off the tour gives me an edge, but it doesn’t mean I can just stroll through. You have to work hard for what you want, and I’m willing to do that.

“You have the experience and you’ve done it before, but you want to move up the rankings. If you keep ending up in this position, you need to look in the mirror and make a change. I still believe I can win a ranking event, and as long as I have that belief, I have to try and maintain it and be patient. I have to fight hard to get there.”

Reflecting on his loss to Kleckers in Sheffield, Taylor acknowledges it was tough but says his family’s support helped him recover quickly.

“I was disappointed, like everyone who misses out on those qualifiers. But when I got home and saw my little girl running around, it put things in perspective. She doesn’t care about the match, and that brings you back to reality. My wife has also been amazing and very supportive. I can’t thank her enough.

“During the match, I wasn’t thinking about what was at stake. My goal at the start of the season was to get to the Crucible. Having experienced Judgement Day before, I knew I could get there again. I took each game as it came and didn’t add any pressure on myself. The match wasn’t of great quality from either of us, honestly. I nearly potted the match ball in the decider; it just lipped out of the middle pocket, and he cleared up.”

Having rebounded from tour relegation twice before, Taylor is determined to do it again at Q School. He believes his experience as an MC during his 2019/20 hiatus will inspire him.

“While working as an MC, I often thought about what I’d give to have a snooker cue in my hands. When it came to winning the tour card back, the experience I had in front of the camera helped. Being in front of a packed house and speaking into a microphone made playing snooker seem less pressurised. It’s all relative experience. If I walked out with a cue in that environment, I’d be less nervous.”

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