Earl Strickland says he is in good shape and has a new pool stick ahead of this year’s Mosconi Cup; “I feel healthy. My weight is good. I try to be as good as I can be. I will be fit and healthy when I get there that will help me when I walk in, and they see me in good shape”
Last Updated: 20/11/21 4:18pm
Legendary pool star Earl Strickland claims Team Europe should fear his Mosconi Cup return at Alexandra Palace next month.
Veteran Strickland became USA captain Jeremy Jones’ first wild card pick, joining Skyler Woodward, Tyler Styer, Chris Reinhold, and vice-captain Shane Van Boening in the red, blue, and white of America ahead of the transatlantic showdown at Alexandra Palace – live on Sky Sports from December 7-10.
The USA return to London looking to get their hands back on the cup after losing out 11-3 last year, while ‘The Pearl’ will be making his 15th Mosconi Cup appearance, but his first since 2013.
Despite spending eight years away from the competition, Strickland feels Europe should be quaking in their boots at his return.
“It should scare them; I do not care what they think,” said the 60-year-old, who has been a part of some of the biggest moments in Mosconi Cup history.
“I only know what I know and that is I am capable of winning matches right now the way I am playing.
“I have a new stick. It’s totally different to what I’ve played with and there’s never been a stick like it. It’s reinvigorated me. I am playing well right now. I just need to keep my mind strong when I play.
“If I miss a shot, do not get down or play a bad safety. I know my nerves aren’t like what they once were, but I will be in as good shape as I can be and will be trying harder than ever.”
Strickland cut a disconsolate figure after losing 7-2 to Eklent Kaci at the World Pool Masters in Gibraltar, but it wasn’t just the result he was unhappy with…
However, Strickland did acknowledge the competition is getting tougher, adding: “I wish a lot of events could be as good as the Mosconi Cup but they’re not. If you play pool the right way and get the pockets right, the tables are tougher. That always needed to happen.”
Only three players in Ralf Souquet, Mika Immonen and Johnny Archer have played more Mosconi Cups to date than the North Carolina man and he has called on his team-mates to be ready for battle.
“I’d like to see these guys start exercising again and running a little and doing sit-ups. I do not want them to be messing with their biceps and upper body. I want them to work on their breathing exercises which will strengthen the core of their body. There’s just a few little things I’d like to see from my team-mates and hopefully, it works.”
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