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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Dutch Cup - Zundert (NED)

Stefan Galla, a free guy in his best form

Posted by on April 5, 2014

Stefan Galla, a free guy in his best form

© Harry van Nijlen/Kozoom
Stefan Galla: ,,I'm not a thinker, I just follow my feelings.''

ZUNDERT - His star is already shining for many years in billiards, but never before Stefan Galla, 43 year-old from Germany, played stronger than this year. He showed up in World Cups more than ten years, in the generation with Martin Horn. Four times he made it to the semi-finals in a World Cup, once, with all the top players in Hurghada, he lost to Torbjörn Blomdahl.

Three weeks ago, Stefan Galla set the pace for the German A team at the World championships in Viersen and for Holland Mineraal he is the star player at the Dutch Cup final, this weekend in Zundert. Stefan Galla 's victory over Berry Dallinga today (3-0, 45 in 20 innings, averaging 2.250) was good enough for a semi-finals spot with his team: Anno de Kleine (2-1 against Therese Klompenhouwer), Murat Naci Coklu (2 -1 against Bart Ceulemans) and Jelle Pijl (2-1 against Patrick Vasseur) won the other matches.

Two times before, Stefan Galla was not there when his team played the semis in the cup final. ,,I once had to play in the German league and the first time I was sick.'' This week, on Thursday, he missed the start as well: the sympathetic German was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway, where a serious accident took place.

He is not married, is working in a billiard shop, not only focused on carom billiards, also on pool, snooker, table tennis and other sports. And he loves his freedom. ,,I feel very good with the life that I live.'' Stefan Galla, who's brother Markus Galla also acts at a pretty high level, is a player, not a worker, as he likes to say. ,,That's one of my good and at the same time one of my bad habits.''

,,I grew up with Martin Horn: we are from the same year,'' he explains. ,,Martin lives in Essen, I grew up in Gelsenkirchen, ten kilometers from each other. When we were in our younger years in billiards, we were totally different. I might have a bit more talent, but I was not willing to work hard and to practice.''

His first World Cup, he played in 1992 in Brno, from then he was about thirteen years of unbroken in all the major tournaments. ,,I stopped for ten years, when I had the feeling I could not fight anymore, but have found the pleasure in billiards again.''

At the World championships in Viersen, he towed the German A team through the group stage, because Martin Horn lost his matches against the Czech Republic and Egypt. ,,I must say that I had no strong opponents, but I felt the pressure, because I had to build up an advantage when Martin was behind.''

In the quarter-finals he was defeated by Ronny Lindemann of Germany B: then Martin Horn took the benefit of the team. ,,The semi-final against the Netherlands was a strange match. Martin was far behind against Dick Jaspers after the start, I very far ahead against Barry van Beers. But the gap on both tables was getting smaller and smaller.''

Dick Jaspers eventually won 40-29, Stefan Galla had to stop his match when he was leading 38-30. ,,So now I was two times third in ten times World championship in Viersen and one time second. But unfortunately I never won.''

Bad season, last year, this year his best season ever. ,,I'm not a thinker, I just follow my feelings. And if you play a good season, like now, you have a good mind, in a bad season, your mind is bad as well.''

In the Netherlands this year, Stefan Galla plays 1.570 overall and it looks like he will overtake Murat Naci Coklu as the team's number one. In Germany he's at 1.400, also one of his best years. He once was the German champion (2003, in a final against Martin Horn).

But if the progression continues like it does now, Stefan Galla will show the world of three cushion lots of wonderful matches in the future. And nobody will begrudge the German his glorious years.

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