Preston's premier potter Ian McCulloch returns to home town action this weekend as snooker's Grand Prix tournament begins at the Guild Hall.

The Walton-le-Dale man is raring to go and hopes to go one better than last year when he was pipped in the final by world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan.

McCulloch is confident it is only a matter of time before a major title is his after having his confidence boosted by his final appearance and his best ever showing in the 2004 World Championships, where he reached the semi-final stage.

He said: "Playing in Preston is always a thrill and the support I get is amazing. The atmosphere with the crowd is great.

"I've lost a bit of weight recently and practice has been going well so I'm fit and ready to give it my best shot.

"I look at it as a matter of when rather than if I win a major title and obviously it would be unbelievable to do it here on my own doorstep."

Tickets for the Grand Prix, which runs from October 8 to 16, are now on sale. They start at £5 (£2.50 concessions) and rise to £22 for the concluding session of the final. To book your seats, call 01772 258858.