SWINDON darts star Johnny Haines is raring to go after drawing sixth seed Wes Newton in the first round of the World Darts Championship.
The High Street Club player will make his debut in the competition at Alexandra Palace following an incredible year which has seen him earn his tour card at qualifying school before making a good start to life as a professional player.
As well as consistently performing well in Players Championship events throughout the year, Haines has made it to the final stages of three European Tour events in his debut season, beating former world champion Raymond van Barneveld on his way to the quarter finals of the Dutch Darts Masters at the end of October.
He has also broken into the world’s top 100 and is set to bank another £6,000 just for playing in the first round at the Ally Pally, which will push him even further up the rankings when they are published in the new year.
Haines and Newton have yet to face each other on the PDC Tour, and although he admitted the draw could have been a little kinder, the Swindon thrower can’t wait to get going on the world stage.
“I am happy with the draw and I will take that, but it is going to be a hard one,” he said.
“I have seen him around, but I have not played against him before so we will have to see, but even though it is sure to be tough I am really up for it.
“I like to take it as it comes and that is the best way, and it doesn’t really matter who you draw because you have to beat everyone in the end.
“Maybe an easier draw would have been nice, but if I can win I will have beaten a bigger name which will be good.”
The tournament gets underway in London on December 14, with the schedule set to be confirmed in the next few days.