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Conor McElduff enters ProStop event in America

Tyrone handballer Conor McElduff

CONOR McElduff will be making a rare appearance next month in a ProStop event on the WPH R48 tour in America.

He has entered for the tournament in Las Vegas on February 9 to 11 in an effort to get back into the swing of things in the big time 40x20 game.

McElduff has been mainly concentrating on Wall-Ball on the European Pro circuit for the past year, as he climbed to the Number One position for 2017 in Europe.

Of course, he didn't entirely ignore the four-wall game as he competed successfully at home in Tyrone, winning the Premier League for the season, beating his cousin Sean Kerr in the final.

“With the World Championships coming up next August, in Minneapolis, I want to get back playing among the top 40x20 professional players. Get in some practice and see just what level of four-wall that I am at,” explains Conor.

“I will, of course, have to qualify for the ProStop event in LA on the Friday, before getting my name into the draw for the actual tournament.

“To qualify must, of course, be my first aim but I would be hopeful of doing that. I would love to get a crack at Killian (Carroll) again, now that he is the Number One ranked player in 40x20.”

The last time that the pair clashed was in the semi-final of the Boston Open in May 2014 with the battle going to a third game shootout tie-breaker that Cork man Carroll won.

“I will make enquiries to see what other events I could get into on the WPH R48 Tour for the rest of the months leading up to the World Championships,” says the Tyrone man.

“Naturally, I am also keen to do my best to defend my Wall-Ball European Number One place this year and, immediately, after I play in Las Vegas I will be in London to compete in the UK Open Wall-Ball Championship.”

First things first and McElduff's sights are firmly set on ProStop No 4 in Vegas.

He is not sure how stiff the qualifying test will be or just exactly how the qualifying works but he does believe that he is there with an excellent chance of making the Saturday morning draw for the competition proper.

“It would be great to test myself against the top 40x20 players on tour.

“It would give me an excellent idea of what stage my game on the 40x20 court is at just now and how much work I will need to do before the Worlds.

“It is over three years since I last played at that level so I need to test myself among the big boys.

“I was very pleased at winning the Tyrone Premier League when beating my 'wee' cousin Sean but the ProStop Tour is a big step-up from that level. It will be interesting just to see what stage I am at,” stresses Conor.

He is anxious to give the 40x20 game one more go at top level but Wall-Ball will still be his main interest as he reckons that code is “more fun.”

When you reach the top spot in Europe it has got to be.

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