Dylan Emery is the 2021 EBSA Champion

Here is the report, written by Michael Day and shared by WPBSA:


7th October 2021

Wales’ Dylan Emery is set to appear on the World Snooker Tour for the first time next year having defeated Julien Leclercq 5-2 in the final of the 2021 EBSA European Under-21 Snooker Championship.

Held at the Vidamar Hotel Resort in Albufeira, Portugal, a total of 78 players from 26 different countries took part in the latest annual edition of this prestigious championship that has roots dating back to 1997 and has been won by future stars such as Mark Allen, Michael White and Luca Brecel.

Emery had no issues qualifying top of his round robin group – winning four matches and dropping only a frame in the process.

As the third seed for the knockout phase, the 20-year-old survived a scare in the last 32 when he was pegged back by Germany’s Daniel Sciborski from 3-0 to 3-3 before coming through in a deciding frame.

The Caerphilly cueist then eliminated Connor Benzey (England) 4-0 in the last 16, ousted fellow countryman Liam Davies 4-3 in the quarter-finals with breaks of 103 and 99, and then reached the final following a 4-0 success over Poland’s Antoni Kowalski.

Emery’s opponent in the title match was the in-form Belgian Leclercq who was appearing in his second final this week having lost to compatriot Ben Mertens on the final pink in the Under-18 final on Monday.

Leclercq entered the knockouts as the top seed and dispatched Robbie McGuigan (Northern Ireland) 4-1, Sybren Sokolowski (Belgium) 4-2, Aidan Murphy (England) 4-2 and then Anton Kazakov (Ukraine) 4-2 in the semi-finals. Kazakov halted Mertens’ double title bid the round before by defeating him on the final black ball in a seventh and deciding frame.

However, Leclercq was to experience more final heartache as Emery took an early 2-0 lead in the final and went on to convert for a 5-2 victory, finishing off with a break of 75 in frame seven.

One of the most consistent players on the international amateur circuit in recent years – including runs to the final of the 2019 European Under-18 Championship and the semi-finals of the 2020 World Snooker Federation Open – Emery is the sixth different Welsh player to win this particular trophy. Following in the recent footsteps of Jackson Page who was triumphant in 2019, Emery wins a guaranteed two-year professional card for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 campaigns.

Attention in the Algarve now turns to the EBSA European Amateur Championship that runs from Friday 8th to Tuesday 12th October.

Article by Michael Day.

First of all, congratulations Dylan Emery and best of luck on the main tour.

As a Belgian, and mainland Europe, citizen, I’d like to share what Tommy Mortier, the Belgian Billiards and Snooker Federation leader for this tournament shared on Facebook:

Beste spelers en snookerliefhebbers,

De Europese Kampioenschappen voor U18 en U21 zijn afgerond.
Balans voor onze Belgische jeugddelegatie.
Balans voor onze land:
Ben Mertens is Europees Kampioen U18.
Julien Leclercq is vice-Europees Kampioen U18 & U21.
Ben had bij de U21 de hoogste break met 133.
Julien had bij de U18 de hoogste break 135.

Dit zijn enorme sterke resultaten waar wij allemaal bijzonder trots op zijn. Maar niet alleen op deze 2 kanjers maar ook alle andere Belgische jeugdspelers (Thijs Pauwels, Thor Van de Voorde, Sybren Sokolowski, Nick Jansen, Matthijs Verherstraeten, Yorrit Hoes) wens ik van harte te feliciteren met hun prestaties op dit Europees Kampioenschap.

Ben Mertens, Julien Leclercq en Sybren Sokolowski zullen ook actief zijn op het Europees Kampioenschap Men dat morgen start. Ook Peter Bullen, Wesley Pelgrims en Kevin Hanssens zijn van de partij.

Ik wens jullie allemaal bijzonder veel succes.
Het Europees Kampioenschap 6-reds is ook op gang geschoten met Peter Bullen en Kevin Hanssens als deelnemers. Jammer genoeg zijn beide spelers uitgeschakeld.
Werk allemaal op deze manier verder.

Bedankt voor jullie inzet.
Tommy Mortier
Nationale Tornooileider BBSA

This is how it reads in French:

Chers joueurs et fans de snooker,

Les Championnats d’Europe U18 et U21 sont terminés.
Bilan pour notre délégation belge de jeunes.
Bilan pour notre pays :

Ben Mertens est Champion d’Europe U18.
Julien Leclercq est vice-Champion d’Europe U18 & U21.
Ben a eu le meilleur break chez les moins de 21 ans avec 133.
Julien a eu le meilleur break 135 chez les U18.

Ce sont de très bons résultats dont nous sommes tous très fiers. Mais je voudrais féliciter tous les autres jeunes joueurs belges (Thijs Pauwels, Thor Van de Voorde, Sybren Sokolowski, Nick Jansen, Matthijs Verherstraeten, Yorrit Hoes) pour leurs performances lors de ce Championnat d’Europe.

Ben Mertens, Julien Leclercq et Sybren Sokolowski seront également actifs dans le Championnat d’Europe masculin à partir de demain. Peter Bullen, Wesley Pelgrims et Kevin Hanssens sont également présents.

Je vous souhaite à tous beaucoup de succès.

Le Championnat d’Europe 6-rouges a également débuté avec Peter Bullen et Kevin Hanssens comme participants. Malheureusement, les deux joueurs sont absents.
Tout continue ainsi.

Merci pour vos efforts.
Tommy Mortier
Leader national du tournoi BBSA

and in English:

Dear players and snooker fans,

The European Championships for U18 and U21 have been completed.
Balance sheet for our Belgian youth delegation.
Balance for our country:

Ben Mertens is European Champion U18.
Julien Leclercq is vice-European Champion U18 & U21.
Ben had the highest break at the U21 with 133.
Julien had the highest break 135 at the U18.

These are very strong results that we are all very proud of. But I would like to congratulate all other Belgian youth players (Thijs Pauwels, Thor Van de Voorde, Sybren Sokolowski, Nick Jansen, Matthijs Verherstraeten, Yorrit Hoes) with their performances at this European Championship.

Ben Mertens, Julien Leclercq and Sybren Sokolowski will also be active in the European Men’s Championship starting tomorrow. Peter Bullen, Wesley Pelgrims and Kevin Hanssens are also present.

I wish you all great success.
The European Championship 6-reds has also started with Peter Bullen and Kevin Hanssens as participants. Unfortunately, both players are out.
All continue in this way.

Thank you for your efforts.
Tommy Mortier

Why do I share this? Not out of national pride, no. I share it because what I see looking at the Belgian team is a surge of young talents, and a gap in the age groups. We have strong seniors and strong juniors. This seniors group was probably drawn to our sport by Eurosport when they started broadcasting snooker in the early 90th. The young talents, I’m certain, were inspired by Luca Brecel’s presence and successes on the pro tour.

If WST has real ambitions to make snooker a global sport, they need to break the strong “UK bias” that currently exists in snooker. I have written about it countless times, and I won’t repeat it all, but, yes, it’s time to make it more of an equal playing field, to promote more tournaments outside the UK, and to have the qualifiers – if any – to be played at the main event location, right before the event itself, so that young talents can be watched by their “local” supporters from round one. It’s time to make it easier for them to maybe continue to live in their country of origin, rather being forced to live in the UK as expats. This is particularly important for the younger ones and at this time when “Brexit Britain” isn’t excatly welcoming to foreigners. There will always be a lot of traveling of course, but at least it won’t be all “one way” traffic.

The appetite is there. The talent is there.

On a diffrent topic, yesterday triggered more reactions to Joe Perry’s views and Barry Hearn’s comments on them. The vast majority were supporting Perry and finally … finally … acknowledging that BH recurrent golf’s comparison doesn’t hold.

One thought on “Dylan Emery is the 2021 EBSA Champion

  1. The Belgian players have done well, but Ben Mertens was poor against Kazakov.

    In the later rounds it looked clear to me that Dylan Emery was the player most likely to do be competitive if he qualified for the Professional tour. He’s had a few tournaments to get used to the step-up in standard. However, it’s still very difficult to win matches, and his first 2 years will probably be more of a learning experience.

    I do think it’s better to have tour cards awarded for just the winners of the U21 and Open events. WSF awarded two tour cards to finalists of its U18 event, but that’s too young. A 16- or 17-year old who is really good has a chance to qualify in U21 events, and that’s a much more suitable age bracket. Some years none of the U18 players will be close to ready.

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