I began my coaching career in my home town of New Ross in County Wexford in the Republic Of Ireland in the 1990’s and whomever follows in my footsteps in Irish Coaching will have big steps to fill as I have been lucky to have achieved so much in the world of coaching.

Some people say I am the main reason Ireland has achieved so much success over the years but it is easy when you have so many talented and dedicated players.

I am an Irish Professional full-time Snooker Coach, Head of European Billiards & Snooker Association Coaching and IBSF European Head Coach. I received a World Snooker Scholarship from the WPBSA to become a World Snooker Coach in 2010.

I have coached and prepared players in IBSF, EBSA, ACBS Snooker Championships. I have also coached in the Asian Games along with Gulf, Arab and Home International Championships plus WST Professional tour events over the years.

I work full time for Snooker & Billiards Ireland (SBI) formerly RIBSA and represents the Association in holding Coaching sessions in Ireland and all around the World in India, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Israel and Romania. In my career I have been linked to four main clubs, The Workman’s Club in New Ross, The Commercial Club in New Ross, Caesars Palace in New Ross and The Ivy Rooms SC in Carlow and without their support, I believe I would not have even become a coach.


I fell in love with the game after watching it on TV. I was then coached myself by a famous Wexford Coach Larry Codd. Working with the players I coached improve, was the main reason I kept developing my own coaching methods. It was not long until I was guiding players to win national, provincial junior and senior snooker titles.

My brother Michael Nolan was one of the first players I coached and he broke all records in Wexford. He became the youngest player to win the town championship at the age of 12. He also became the youngest player to make a century break (127) at the age of 13. Michael is still the only New Ross player ever to play on Irish Snooker team.

I have never been a top player, but I have won several local championships and beaten many top ranked players in (RIBSA) tournaments over the years. I had no major playing record so I feel this made me work even harder on my own coaching because I had to prove it to everyone that I was a good coach.

I then started going around Ireland and training players and it was not long until players realized that I was a coach and a person who motivates, encourages and train them to improve to reach their true potential. I then designed Training booklets and coaching manuals, these routines became the way players trained and prepared for local and national events. I then started thinking about starting up my own training academy and twenty years later I did. It has been a long journey but I can honestly say I would not change anything because it made me into the coach I am today.


In 1997 Terry Griffiths who was the Coaching Director at the time of W.P.B.S.A. (World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association) travelled to Ireland to set up the R.I.B.S.A. (Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association) Coaching Foundation.

The WPBSA wanted to assist all NGB’s to develop their Coaching structure and Terry held this WPBSA coaching course in Carlow. I qualified to become the youngest RIBSA Snooker Coach during this course at the World Under 21 Championships.

Snooker Coaching at the time was something new and not many players were coached or even told anyone they had a lesson from a coach but even the top players like Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry were coached and guided to the success they achieved.


In 1998 The Qatar Billiards & Snooker Association, in the Middle East contacted the I.B.S.F. (International Billiards & Snooker Federation) looking for a new national coach. I applied for the position and I became the Qatar National Coach in July 1998.

I trained and coached the Qatar National team for Gulf, Arab and Asian Snooker Championships which gave me fantastic experience in preparing players to play to their best for major tournaments. The players and QBSF did everything to make my move to Qatar enjoyable and my role within the Association became more than just a job as I really fell in love with Qatar.

I worked hard in developing Snooker & Pool in Qatar with official National Ranking events throughout the season that qualified players for International Championships. I was also in charge of arranging training Camps for the national teams all across Europe and Asia.

The Association also brought professional players from Ireland and the UK to practice with my National team players. This was key in helping the players to play and practice against high quality opponents.

Snooker Coaching in Qatar by PJ Nolan


In 1999 The Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association offered me a position he could not refuse and come home to become the Republic of Ireland National Snooker Coach and Director of Coaching in Ireland.

I decided to quit Qatar and come back to take up this position and from 1999 – 2003 I worked as the National Snooker Coach of Ireland.

I guided and Coached the Irish teams to win two Home International Senior Titles in 2000 and 2001. I helped in the development of a string of new Irish up and coming players like David Morris, Vincent Muldoon, David Hogan, Brendan O Donoghue and Martin McCrudden who have all gone on to win numerous Irish titles.

In 2001, I attended the Irish National Coaching & Training Centre Tutor Course on behalf of RIBSA. This course covered all sports in Ireland and it showed me that a coach in all kinds of sports is the same as it is about helping players enjoy and play the better and more consistent.

During my years involved with the National Coaching Training Centre which became later Coaching Ireland, I wrote the RIBSA Introduction Level Course and the Level One coaching syllabus. I finally graduated in the NCTC as the first tutor in the sport of snooker in Limerick University in 2002.

I began to train the RIBSA members into becoming Qualified Coaches on behalf of The Republic of Ireland Snooker Association. This grew the game all around Ireland as these coaches became talent scouts and guided the players within their own clubs.


Being the National Coach of Ireland was an unpaid position at the time and in 2003 the Qatar Federation again approached me to return to Qatar to become the National Cue Sport Expert.

I accepted this role in June 2003 and in 2004 coached Qatar to achieve their first ever gold medal in the Gulf Snooker championships when Ahmed Saif won the Gulf Under 21 Championship in Dubai.

In 2006 I helped set up the new Qatar Billiards & Snooker Federation training centre in Doha the capital of Qatar with 10 superb match snooker tables and 8 pool tables. This Training Centre was one of the best training venues in the world and the Qatari players improved each season.

I developed the Qatar Junior & Senior Academy with ranking events to qualify players for International events. The Qatar snooker and pool national teams trained every day within my training programs.

Despite living in Qatar for almost seven years I regularly coached and guided Irish and International players by email. My coaching style is simply by breaking each point down to get the players to think, play positive and naturally by training on specific routines. I believe this is the secret of my success and it has earned me the respect from players to describe me as one of the world’s top coaches.

During my career, I have worked with some of the most famous snooker coaches in the world with Terry Griffiths, Del Hill, Chris Henry and National Coaches from Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. All the coaches had very successful careers and some have worked with and guided the best players ever to play this game. They all had their own individual coaching styles. The best advice they ever gave me is to never stop working hard on my own coaching if you want to stay successful in game.

Ever since I worked on developing my own style of coaching using the latest technology to enhance each lesson. If it can be done better then I will do it. Each player is special in my academy from a complete beginner to the main tour professional player.


I set up the Qatar Billiards & Snookers Schools project with the Qatar Federation putting tables into the schools in Qatar. The Federation then sent me into the Schools to train the next generation of young Qatari Schoolboys in both Pool and Snooker.

I believes the Qatar Federation have juniors to keep the development of the game in Qatar going for the next 10 years and make Qatar one of the strongest Arab Countries.

It was a difficult decision to leave Qatar but I felt the time was right to return and attempt to develop new up and coming Irish and International players in my 147 academy who can compete on the world stage.

I am one of only a few snooker coaches in the world who has coached players and teams in Asian, Gulf, Arab, European, Home Internationals and IBSF World Snooker Championships. He has also coached players in the Asian Games and Asian Indoor Games and on the main WST tour.

In December 2008 I announced I was stepping down as the Qatar coach to return to Ireland and to set up my own training academy in Ireland.

After my years in Qatar, I believed Qatar has a bright future. My coaching and the developments of coaching in the schools is beginning to pay off in Qatar to produce top players like 14 year old Qatari Ali Al Obaidly and over the next few seasons this will push Qatar to be number 1 in the Gulf.

14 year old Ali Al Obaidly had qualified and played in the 2006 & 2007 Asian Senior Championships, World Under 21’s & Asian Under 21’s and IBSF World Men’s Championships.

In 2006 Ali played in the Asian Games along with his brother Khamis Al Obaidly (19yrs) and Mohanna Al Obaidly (17yrs). In 2007 Khamis Al Obaidly became the youngest winner of the Qatar National Snooker Championship.


In January 2009 I was offered a full time paid position to become the Irish National Coach and Development Officer for the Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association. I still believed I am the only snooker coach in Europe that is paid full time by the National Association.

I worked all around Ireland in developing the stars of the Irish game and coached all the top players in Ireland. Since my appointment RIBSA have had performed excellent in major International events like when David Hogan won the EBSA European Snooker championship beating Mario Fernandez in the Final.

Josh Boileau and Aaron Hill have won the EBSA European Under 21 Snooker Finals and Mark Tuite has won the EBSA European Masters Final. Aaron Hill won the EBSA European Under 18 final twice plus Shachar Ruberg also won the EBSA European 6 red final.

I Introduced Professional Training Camps to prepare the Irish teams for all International Events. The players feel this is key in preparing them for the major Championships. All the players practice Long Potting, Safety, Match-Play and Break Building routines during the training camps. I video the players and work on their mind fitness with sports psychology in order to help them play with more confidence.

At all my camps each player receives a DVD of his action and sports psychology booklet and audio to help them with their mind fitness to study at home. I also hold training tournaments at the training camps in the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club in Carlow which is an official RIBSA and EBSA centre of excellence containing 11 Championship Shender Snooker Tables.

RIBSA sends me with the Irish players to all the International Championships to help the players to prepare before their games with practice, motivation and guidance during the match with tactics and feedback on how the match went.

I also update the SBI web site on the players results which keeps their family and friends at home informed as this is another factor in motivating the players to play their best in the Championships.


I was Appointed Head of EBSA Coaching by the European Billiards & Snooker Association. In my role I train all the coaches from all over Europe in becoming Official EBSA Coaches. I also hold Cue Coaching Zones at all EBSA International Events.

In July 2013 I held Cue Zone at the World Snooker Academy base in Beijing in China on behalf of the European Billiards & Snooker Association with the Chinese National Team Coaches. I hold EBSA Coaching Education Courses at all European EBSA Championships. This 3 day course is only for nominated National Coaches from the European Countries.

in 2020 I designed the official EBSA Coaching and Training Ball. In the box there are three balls to improve your aiming, control and cueing.

Each season countries within Europe are improving to compete against the top countries and I believe this is down to EBSA setting up coaching to help promote and guide countries like the Netherlands, Israel, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Bulgaria and Poland who are now producing great up and coming stars of the future which goes well to grow the game all across Europe.


I am an official W.P.B.S.A Snooker Coach after I received a scholarship by the WPBSA. I was invited to the England Institute of Sport in Sheffield to attend a coaching course and i was presented with my certificate from Steve Davis and Terry Griffiths.

I became the first World Snooker Coach from the Republic Of Ireland and I travelled around the world hold Coaching camps in India, Iran, Israel, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, UAE, Malta and Austria.

I have also been the lead coach at the WPBSA Cue Zone at the World Championship in Sheffield in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

I have also worked alongside Chris Lovell from the WPBSA is creating a pathway for European Coaches with the WPBSA through the EBSA Coaching Program which bodes well for the game.


I have tried very hard to developed my 147 Academy to be regarded now as one of the world’s best academies all over the world. This is something I am very proud of, as it was the aim to offer the best program anywhere to prepare players and teams for major competitions.

Players can book camps in Ireland or Camps in their own country. All the sessions are recorded and the players get DVD’s of each session to monitor at home. I feels this is very important in the development of each player.

My 147 academy web site contains my PDF training programs and they are available to download to help players of all levels from a junior player to the player on the main tour improve his or her training sessions.

My Web Site, Facebook and You-Tube channel is becoming popular Coaching outlets on the web. It is easy to notice my academy players on the circuit because they wear his 147 Academy logo on their waistcoat and on their cue case.

I am now developing the next generation of young players in Ireland and all over the world within my Academy who I believe will become the new stars of the future.

My job within SBI will see me developing the structure in Ireland with events to qualify the players for the International events plus travelling the world with the Irish teams to guide them to more success by helping them play their best to fly the Irish flag high in the major championships.

I would like to personally thank all the players, associations, clubs and federations around the world for their support over the years. Hopefully we will see the next chapter of my story in helping the players achieve their goals and dreams.

Whatever happens I promises all his players 100% commitment in helping them improve their game more. ” Remember fail to prepare, be prepared to fail ”