READING snooker professional Billy Castle has regained his place on the Main Tour.

The 26-year-old said he has served his apprenticeship and is now ready to compete with the world’s best players.

Castle earned a two-year tour card through Qualifying School in 2017 and reached the last 16 of two ranking events, but was relegated in May after ending the season in 99th place.

But he has bounced straight back by finishing second in this year’s Q School order of merit, a league table of frames won over the three events in Wigan.

Castle explained what it meant to continue living the dream.

“It means everything to be back among the elite players in the world,” he said.

“I’ve had my two years of apprenticeship. Now it’s time to cement my place on tour because I fully deserve it.

“This has been a dream of mine since I started playing the game. Now I’m living it and want to continue to perform on tour like I have.”

Castle, who was coached by the late Southampton FC footballer Ken Jones, thanked his sponsors and supporters.

“I’m so thankful for everyone’s support,” he said. “It means so much to me. And massive thanks to Neil Herd (from Attic Life) and John Hunter (from Cuestars) for their support and continued sponsorship.

“Ken Jones would have been so proud. I wish he was here to witness my journey as a pro.”