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Steadman relishing Crucible debut
16 Apr 2015 15:03
Ronnie O'Sullivan's rookie World Championship opponent is fearing Crucible humiliation before he even plays his first shot against the five-time winner.
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Manchester potter Craig Steadman will make his debut at the age of 32, making him a relative latecomer to snooker's grandest stage.
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The worry for Steadman is that years of dreaming of his big moment will turn to torment from the very moment he makes it into the arena.
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"When you get to the Crucible, I've heard horror stories about walking down the stairs and your legs start crumbling," he said.
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Once it comes to potting balls though, Steadman should be finely tuned, having won three qualifying matches to earn his moment in the spotlight.
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World title favourite O'Sullivan has not played a competitive match since losing to Judd Trump on March 22 in the final of the World Grand Prix.
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Steadman said: "I didn't care who I played having got there for the first time.
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"But obviously it will be a great occasion playing Ronnie and I am glad not to play until next week after three tough qualifiers.
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"I'm sure a few people will be coming out of the woodwork now asking for tickets. I have played on TV a few times but nothing to compare with Ronnie at the Crucible.
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"It has taken me a long time to get there, I must be a slow learner. Before this I was best known for knocking Steve Davis off the tour last year.
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"I felt terrible about that, it wasn't the nicest feeling as the bloke is a legend - but he's won plenty so I'm sure he forgave me."
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Steadman will have until Tuesday to sweat over the prospect of tackling O'Sullivan.
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He visited the theatre to watch his friend Nick Dyson play Ken Doherty in 2001, but said: "I told myself I'd never go again unless I was playing there.
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"Last year I won a couple of qualifying matches before losing to Dechawat Poomjaeng, but my sponsor wanted to go to the Crucible.
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"So I sulked a little after my defeat and then I said, 'Right, we'll go for the day', and I watched about five minutes before I walked straight back out and sat in the players' lounge.
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"As a snooker player it's not nice to sit there watching when you could be playing. You've got to earn a right to be there and I've done that now and it's brilliant."
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