TEENAGE potter Joe O'Connor has set his sights on causing one of the biggest shocks in UK Championship history - knocking out the defending champion.

The 19-year-old takes on world number two, and last year's York Barbican victor, Neil Robertson in the first round of the tournament on Thursday evening and is drawing on a previous near miss to give him hope.

Two years ago, O'Connor rattled in breaks of 70, 68 and 76 to take multiple ranking event winner Ricky Walden to the brink in a Euro Tour event in Gloucester. The youngster lost 5-4 but, as he prepares for the biggest match of his career, he plans to "enjoy" the occasion as much as possible.

"It's a new experience," said O'Connor, who is from Wigston, near Leicester. "I'll prepare how I usually do for a tournament and just try and go in as confident as I can. I'll practise hard before and do my best.

"I just want to enjoy it more than anything."

Reflecting on his game with Walden, he added: "I played really well and it is big boost to my confidence because I know if I can play well I am capable of giving him (Robertson) a good game.

"I've just got to hope I can play well on the day. I have played someone of that ability before. I know I have got to keep my game tight and I have got to really play well to get anything out of it.

"I am playing in the evening so a lot of my friends will be coming to watch."

O'Connor sees these exploits as a "taster year", having done well enough at Q-School last May to receive a number of tournament invites while still remaining an amateur for a season.

"I can see what I am up against in the future," he added. "It could be a good thing. I might have gone on to the tour and been beaten for the whole year - playing tough players.

"There is no pressure on me to score ranking points. It is a big step up from what I have been playing in the last few years."