Darts ace Scott Mitchell is determined to turn on the style at Lakeside as he bids to put the area on the darting map.
Mitchell, from Bransgore on the edge of the New Forest, is confident he is ready to fulfil his potential on the big stage after finally breaking his world championship duck.
The England international, who plays county darts for Dorset but turns out for St Mary’s in the South Hants Super League at Eastleigh, faces fifth seed Robbie Green in the second round at 5.15pm today, with the match to be screened live on ESPN.
But 12th seed Mitchell believes his 3-2 win over Mark Barilli on Sunday – his first victory at Lakeside – has relieved the pressure.
Mitchell, 42, insists he is now in the mood to show what he can do.
He said: “Sunday was always going to be a difficult game because we knew the prize was so big for both of us as we could both break our Lakeside ducks. Now I feel I can relax and feel totally different about the next game already.
“I have got Robbie Green and, of course, I am going to be a sure-fire underdog for that. He is the red-hot favourite.
“I am feeling fairly confident that even though I am the underdog, that will suit me better. Hopefully, I can just get up there, get my game out and feel a bit more relaxed and not so tense.”
Mitchell is hoping his emotions will be firmly under control against Green after he shed tears of joy following his win over Barilli.
He added: “When you have been there three times and not won, it is a big mental hurdle to overcome because the hurdle just gets higher every year.
“When I won my first county game for Dorset many moons ago, I was in tears. When I won my first England game three or four years ago, I was in bits. That is that one out the way now and, hopefully, it won’t be such an emotional turmoil thing for me.
“My sponsors have stuck by me for the past three or four years and it is a whole team effort. It wasn’t just me up there. It just all pours out.”