Troy Deeney makes shock career change as former Watford and Birmingham star agrees to swap sports

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TROY DEENEY is all cued-up to try a new sport…as he battles professional pool players next month.

The former Watford and Birmingham City footballer has accepted a wildcard to appear in the UK Open Pool Championship in Telford between May 7-12.

Former Premier League star Troy Deeney is set to try his luck as a pool player

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Former Premier League star Troy Deeney is set to try his luck as a pool playerCredit: AP
Deeney is taking his pool debut next month seriously

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Deeney is taking his pool debut next month seriously

The ex-Premier League striker was approached by promoters of the World Nineball Tour to get involved in the 256-player event on an invitational basis.

Deeney, 35, told SunSport: “I’m absolutely buzzing.

“I always fancied myself on the table at the training ground with the boys.

“So when this opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance to put myself to the test against some of the world’s top players.

“It was something I couldn’t really turn down. I appreciate athletes in other sports. This has given me the opportunity to go and see it first-hand.

“Hopefully it brings a new audience to Nineball. Until two months ago, I didn’t know what the format was. I thought it was reds versus yellows, spots versus stripes.

“I’ll face a proper player to start with. It’s like, for want of a better word, balls-deep. Straight in.”

Pool has long been a big part of Deeney’s life – he played it in pubs growing up in Birmingham and often took on team-mates at Vicarage Road.

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Deeney said of his time playing on the tables at Watford: “It was a good school. We had the likes of Etienne Capoue and Craig Cathcart.

“But the shark of the group was Ben Foster, who had his own cue by the end.

Football icons’ strange hobbies

“They were all quite competitive. The difference is then, you were getting a grape thrown at you while trying to take a shot. Or people nudging you in the back.

“I’m hoping the UK Open will be more professional than the changing rooms of Watford. Rather than have Ben Foster throwing grapes.

“Look, in football or team sports, it’s easy to blame other people – if I didn’t score, it’s because the cross wasn’t good enough.

“But in this situation, if I don’t do the hard yards and deal with it mentally, then you make yourself look like a plonker.

“I don’t want to do that – especially in Telford, when I’m from the Midlands.”

Deeney will enter the first round – where prize money is £400 – and he will have at least two games in the tournament against a seeded star, with each contest being the best-of-nine-racks.

Troy Deeney’s career stats

Those numbers in full:

  • Chelmsley Town, 2004-2006: 64 games, 27 goals
  • Walsall, 2006-2010: 136 games, 27 goals
  • Halesowen Town, 2006-2007 (loan): 10 games, 8 goals
  • Watford, 2010-2021: 419 games, 140 goals
  • Birmingham, 2021-2023: 56 games, 11 goals
  • Forest Green, 2023-2024: 18 games, 4 goals



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Troy Deeney makes shock career change as former Watford and Birmingham star agrees to swap sports

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