Team USA’s Jeremy Jones and Team Europe’s Alex Lely are both revelling in the pressure ahead of the much-awaited 2022 Mosconi Cup at Bally’s Las Vegas from November 30 to December 3 live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA as well as other broadcasters worldwide.
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Looking ahead to action getting underway in pool’s biggest event Jones acknowledges his side cannot get ahead of itself with the home crowd baying for the Europeans to slip up: “I want to keep it simple. I don’t want anyone over-excited. We will have our chance to win the cup. It will take a lot. Europe has a great team. It’s about who gets settled the most first. I know our team can win on any scoreline. I think whoever gets comfortable first will strike while the iron is hot. Winning on US soil would be something special.”
“Winning is incredible wherever but there’s something special when in the USA. It’s special in this team. It breathes USA all around. I expect to see a lot of resolve. You can almost get too giddy. This team has a collective goal in mind. You can expect a lot of great things.”
It’s hard to describe playing the Mosconi Cup, especially in Las Vegas. It’s like you’ve got back up out there for sure. The energy is crazy.
Lely meanwhile is looking to lead a victory on American soil since 2017 and he’s acutely aware of the challenge that faces him. The Dutch native is no stranger to winning with back-to-back triumphs for Europe in the UK losing only nine points in the process with an 11-3 win in 2020 and 11-6 last year at Alexandra Palace but this year promises to be a whole new challenge if Lely is to guide his side to a three-peat: “We are looking forward to playing in Las Vegas in front of the US fans. They deserve their up-close-and-personal experience with the biggest event of the year and it’s something they’ve unfortunately been starved of recently. I am sure they will give us a warm welcome…”
The training program under Lely is rigorous and to the point with members of Team Europe aware of exactly where they should be at certain times as they look to mastermind another win: “We get together well before the event starts and we will get some practice in but more so, I want the team to fortify our bonds and become as tightly knit as possible and as a unit. We go into battle as a team and stay together and focus right until the last ball.”
Last year didn’t start well for Europe losing the team match for the third straight year in a row before being 5-4 down going into the third day after a remarkable middle order from the USA. Lely admitted at the time it kept him up all night and called a team meeting at his room for early morning ahead of day three: “This is my 3rd consecutive year and this time we want to get out of the gates strong. All guns blazing, you could say. The start is important, and I want my team to show heart and wear it on their sleeves as they go out for each match. We know it will be a tough week and starting out well is the only way to tame the onslaught that will come our way.”
Hear more from Jones and Lely at the 2022 Mosconi Cup press conference on Tuesday, 29 November at 3 pm local time. Get your tickets to be there here.
Can’t make it to the 2022 Mosconi Cup? Watch the action wherever you are in the world. Broadcasters below. If you do not see a broadcaster in your country, you can watch on Matchroom.Live