Prodigy Adam Bobat is closing in on snooker perfection as he bids to follow in the footsteps of Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The 14-year-old, from Fareham, has been earning rave reviews for his performances in the Portsmouth Snooker League in recent weeks after registering a highest break of 141 – just six points shy of snooker’s magic maximum 147.
With the league celebrating their own centenary this year, Bobat’s progress has marked him out as a possible star of the future as he targets a professional career.
And the Henry Cort Community College student, who started playing on a full-size table on his sixth birthday, is on course for further honours this year after making his way into the last 16 of three national competitions.
But Bobat’s blossoming snooker career has not hampered his education. And he has been told school must come first before he can turn his attentions to a career on the green baize.
Dad Mo explained: ‘It’s his ambition to make it as a professional but he knows how hard that is.
‘A lot of people have seen him play and think that he could go on to make it as a professional but we will see about that.
‘I want him to get his GCSEs and then we can look at it after that.
‘You see some of the youngsters on the circuit not going to school and playing full-time but if he continues to show the same dedication that he’s shown already, then he will get there.’
Bobat’s snooker schooling started at a tender age, playing pool as a five-year-old.
His progress since has been remarkable, with 18 to 24 hours of practice per week at Fareham Snooker Club.
Mo said: ‘He started playing on a pool table when he was five and I promised him that I would treat him to play snooker on a full-size table on his sixth birthday.
‘He was just a natural and loves it.
‘By the time he was eight years old, he was beating adults quite easily.
‘Then he got his first century when he was 10 and he was over the moon with that. But he’s had a 141 and 104 in the same match recently, then he had a 133 the week after. He’s in pretty good form at the moment!’
The young talent lifted the UK under-12s Championship at the age of 10 and has since been a finalist in the under-14 English Championship on two occasions.
Next month, Bobat faces a last-16 encounter in the under-16s English Championship, while he is also into the latter stages for two other titles.
But his sporting passion is not confined to the snooker table.
Mo said: ‘We’re up and down the country with him every other weekend in various competitions.
‘But football is his second passion and his snooker cue case has got Pompey embroidered all over the inside.’