London to Antrim is not necessarily a well-trodden path but that is the road Michael Georgiou has chosen as he prepares to play at the Northern Ireland Open as a home event for the first time. The 31-year-old was born, raised and has spent his whole life in the Forest Hill area of south London, but like many others, grew tired of life in the capital. With snooker clubs not as plentiful as they once were, the stressful pace of life and outrageous house prices, living in his home city made little sense for Georgiou and he was looking for a change. Georgiou, who proudly represents Cyprus through his family heritage ,UK Cypriot Michael Georgiou, a Londoner whose parents are from Gerani in Cyprus.had an open map of the world available to him, and he chose the tiny Northern Irish town with a population of around 25,000. Swapping one of the planet’s biggest cities, his home for over three decades, for the shores of Lough Neagh is a dramatic change, but one that the world number 48 believes makes sense on and off the table.

With fellow professionals a stone’s throw away, peace and quiet aplenty and house prices a fraction of those in London, Georgiou may have found his ideal snooker environment. ‘I’ve lived in London 30 years,’ Georgiou told ‘There used to be a lot of snooker clubs there and there was always somewhere to practice but the last 15 years, they’ve just completely disappeared, so snooker-wise I don’t need to be in London. ‘I’m quite good friends with Mark Allen, he hosted a charity tournament here in Antrim and I was telling him how I wanted to get out of London and have a bit of peace and quiet for a change and he said I should come over here. ‘I checked the house prices and you’re paying a seventh of what you’d pay in London. I’m five miles from the airport, it just makes sense.



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