PATRICK Rooney is launching a Trans-Pennine bid to climb the world rankings in squash.
The 16-year-old is currently ranked No.287 despite his tender years, and regularly beats opponents in the low hundreds.
Now Rooney will be competing in the Yorkshire League for Halifax as well as for Wigan Squash Club in the North West Counties to fast-track his progress.
While in Halifax, he’ll be training with some of the top players in the sport, which it’s hoped will take his own game on to a different level.
Ian Bradburn, one of Wigan’s stalwart players, commented: “It’s fantastic to have Patrick at the club and, as we have seen when any top player commits to playing for Wigan, it raises the bar for everyone and encourages other talented players to join.
“We wish Patrick every success with his career as I am sure he will make his mark on the world stage.”
Rooney has won the Junior National Championships at every age level from Under-13s to Under-17s, and is awaiting a call up to participate in the World Championships in South Africa.
He recently won the Allam Humber Junior Open Under-19s in Hull, beating Kyle Finch in the final after toppling No.2 seed Adam Turner in the semi-final.
Andrew Duncan, of Wigan Squash section, added: “Patrick is undoubtedly a rising star in the professional ranks of England Squash.
“And his presence at the club has certainly brought on the other young home-grown players such as Paul and Mike McDonald, Ryan Atherton and Tim Heron, under the local guidance of squash coach Steve Johnson.
“In his first year in the team, Wigan finished third in the North West Counties League, which is their highest-ever finish, and the team is very much looking forward to improving on that in 2014/15.”
Rooney’s successful year so far includes a fourth-placed finish in the British Junior Open, and runner-up spot in the Chorley Courtcare Classic.
Last month he was a member of the European Team Champions side for England which triumphed in Prague.