JUDD Trump is predicting a bright future for his friend Michael Wasley after the world number 73 pulled off one of the biggest shocks at the Crucible in recent years.
Qualifier Wasley, who won for matches to qualify for the Dafabet World Championships, defeated in-form Ding Junhui 10-9 late on Monday night.
Chinese sensation Ding was one of the favourites to win his first world title heading into the tournament having already won five ranking events this season.
But Wasley, from Gloucestershire, produced the performance of his career to progress into the last 16 where he will meet Dominic Dale on Saturday evening.
Trump, who is also 24 and saw off Tom Ford 10-8 to progress to the next round, grew up with Wasley and believes his shock win can inspire a new generation of players to come through the ranks.
“It’s good to see another player my age starting to come through,” said Trump.
“I watched a bit of his match. It was good to watch and really good for him.
“We’re the same age so I played in all of the junior tournaments with him.
“This is only his second year on the tour and getting into the last 16 of the World Championships at that stage is something that I didn’t do so hopefully he’s got a big future in the game.
“His next match will be harder because he’s coming in off the back of an excellent win – probably the biggest biggest shock in five years beating Ding who has won so many tournaments this year.
“But I think if he can win the next game he could be a dangerous opponent because his performance against Ding would have frightened a few players I think.”
Despite progressing through to the last 16 himself, Trump was admittedly disappointed with his own performance.
But the 2011 finalist is drawing on the positives and is pleased not to have hit anywhere near top form ahead of his match against Ryan Day on Saturday.
Trump added: “But there’s probably going to be guys who play well in this tournament and lose so for me to play badly and still win is very pleasing.
“In a way I’m quite happy I didn’t play quite well in my first game.
“I’ve taught myself to be patient and not really worry about my performance too much because there has been times this year where I’ve played really well and lost.
“At the end of the day that’s not important. There’s going to be people who flick on the TV on Saturday and see I’m still in the tournament so for that game has gone now.
“It’s irrelevant. I’ve got four more matches to win the Championship. There’ still a long way to go and no player wants to be playing their best stuff in the first and second round.”