By Phil Lanning
JOE CULLEN joked that he’d like to punch pal Jonny Clayton straight in the face after losing the Premier League final night two.
Bradford ace ‘Rockstar’ produced another impressive performance to win the Players Championship 3 in Wigan and pick up the £12,000 top prize.
But Cullen, 32, admitted he couldn’t be angry losing to mate Clayton in Liverpool just two days earlier.
He said: “If it was against somebody I’m not close friends with, it’s fine, you can be angry. I went on a night out with Jonny Clayton afterwards. It’s hard to dislike him. You want to punch him straight in the face because he’s so cute!
“I’m in week two of the Premier League and I’m already sick of being away. It’s a 16-week slog, by the way I’m happy to be in. It’s a lot of time away from home.
“It’s a lot of sacrifice to my family.
“Luckily I’ve got a supportive wife and family. I know we play for financial gain but winning titles is a better feeling.”
Cullen beat Damon Heta to win the Players Champs but also admitted he played terrible throughout the event.
He added: “It’s been a tough slog today but to win it is amazing. I’ve played terribly today and won the tournament, so what more can you ask for!
“When you can grind out results it’s genuinely more satisfying. It wasn’t even my B game, it was nowhere near.
“It feels different now. But being in the Premier League is massive. I’ve been both sides of the fence. There’s no way on earth I should have won that tournament today.
“If I’d not won the Masters and been in the Premier League, maybe those players would have done me 6-2 or 6-3. But you take the rough with the smooth.
“It’s testament to the hard work I’ve put in. To win the Masters to get in was a long shot. I deserved my Premier League place, I’ve proved that.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.