Blackpool’s James Cahill may be only 20 years old but claims his retirement from snooker is imminent after being dismantled by Matthew Stevens in the first round of the Betway UK Championship.
Marton-based Cahill beat then-world No.3 Ding Junhui in a remarkable run to the fourth round of the 2014 UK Championship but has grown disillusioned with the game after a season of disappointing results.
He made two half-centuries against Stevens but claimed just the solitary frame as his experienced opponent ran riot in a 6-1 triumph at the York Barbican.
A run to the second round at the English Open and a third-round loss to Mark Selby at the Paul Hunter Classic have broken up tough first-round exits against Ryan Day, Robin Hull and Liang Wenbo for Cahill this term.
“My head is finished with this game, if I carry on like this I will probably pack it in at the end of this season,” said Cahill.
“I have been saying to my mum recently that I have had enough of playing, I am practising when I don’t want to practice.
“You can practise as much as you like, you know what you’re capable of, but it is just so brain-damaged this game.
“I am outside the top 64 and I am having to do other things to try and make money, I am borrowing money from my mum to come to tournaments”
Cahill stopped short of a definite commitment, but suggested that his form on the table had started to affect his life outside of the game.
He is in his fourth full year on the World Snooker Tour but any desire to give up the game was tempered by the knowledge that his other options are severely limited.
“I feel like I have been playing for ages now and I feel like I am going round in circles bashing my head against a wall,” he added.
“I haven’t got many other options that I can pursue, so I would have to look at it properly. I know everyone has got to go through this, but I don’t know what to think.
“My family are brilliant, the support I have got is great. They don’t want me to do it, but I spoke to my mum and I have told her how I feel, I have been a bit down off the table.
“I will probably see the tournaments out this season, see how it goes and go from there. I’m actually not playing too bad, it is more mental.”