World Cup will be a family affair

Kian on the left and Ryan are shooting for pool gloryKian on the left and Ryan are shooting for pool glory
Kian on the left and Ryan are shooting for pool glory
An family from Forfar are off to the Blackball Pool World Cup in France after both sons were called up for Scotland’s junior teams.

Ryan Martin, 14, will captain the under 15s team with older brother Kian, 18, one of seven in the under 18s.

The cherry on top came when father Alex was asked by Scottish Pool to take up the manager’s position for the Under 15 team.

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The style and personality of the two brothers couldn’t be more polar with Ryan ruthless in his determination to make it to the top, no matter the cost.

“I want to go pro in the IPA (International Pool Association) or I’d maybe consider the 9-ball route instead, he said.”

This in parallel to Kian’s natural ability and laid back outlook on things, determined to do his best but with the ambition to enjoy himself while doing it.

“I hope to attend more tours and enter more competitions, whilst continuing in the international set-up but we will see what happens,” said the 18-year-old.

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When dad Alex first introduced his two sons to the game he enjoyed so much he was unaware of the talent the pair would bring to the table.

They started on an old pool table in the garage with dad confident his sons would soon take an interest in the game.

Kian showed a great natural talent, knowing how to hold himself and position his body over the table.

Ryan’s age and stature forced him to adopt a ‘chicken wing’ in order to play the large table.

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It was clear to Alex that with some coaching both boys could prosper but, with Kian’s focus towards football, he began to make enquiries for Ryan.

“I approached Eddie Hunt at Dundee Pool Academy and said the young lad has got a desire for the sport and I think he’s got something,” said Alex.

Perhaps the fear of missing out struck Kian and prompted him to ask if he could come along too which of course Alex agreed to.

“I took the pair of them down on the Monday and both did their thing and impressed straight away,” he added.

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“Eddie Hunt was the manager of Scotland under-15s B and after six months at his academy Ryan was selected to play in Bridlington at the 2018 European Championships with his side returning as champions.

“Because Ryan did so well with the B team he got promoted to the A team and in his place Kian was selected by Hunt as captain.

" Then in 2019 they both went down and Ryan’s team completely flopped, despite him being one of the better players and Kian made it to the final where they narrowly lost out to England 8-7.”

Having both already played for Scotland at European level, the world cup represents a slight step up for the young prospects but going into it their mentalities slightly differ.

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“Personally I just treat it the same as any other tournament, it’s just another big event and representing your country is a great honour every time,” said Kian.

Ryan added: “I think it’s different to other events because I want to be known as the best, as number one and win everything.”

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