SWINDON thrower Johnny Haines is determined to stick to what he knows best as he prepares to make his World Championship debut at Alexandra Palace this evening.
The High Street Club player takes on world number six Wes Newton tonight following a superb debut year on the PDC circuit, but he still clings to his pub player roots and even played for the Heart in Hand in Highworth just 24 hours before his Ally Pally bow.
Rather than spending hours practising Haines prefers to play competitively at least three nights a week, and plans to calm any nerves he might have tonight by sticking to his regular routine of drinking six or seven pints before going on stage.
“When you go out playing, you are drinking, and if you are at home practising you are not drinking, so you are throwing different which is why I prefer playing matches and tournaments,” he said.
“I will probably have six or seven John Smith’s before I go on if they have got it, and it relaxes me. All of the guys do it I think, and the only one who doesn’t is Justin Pipe who drinks Coke.
“Pub darts keeps me going and I get a lot of practice from doing that rather than practising on my own, and I will always carry on playing in pubs because it is the bread and butter of it all.
“I don’t feel nervous at all, but that might change when I stand there waiting to go on so we will have to see.
“It would be nice to get off to a good start and get the first few legs under your belt, and then see where it goes from there.
“The match is quite long, but that doesn’t bother me and I am ready.”
The Punk is hoping to walk to the stage to Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols, and is looking forward to playing in the atmosphere generated by thousands of fans.
“I am feeling good and I have been playing well, and I am going into it on good form which is good,” he said.
“There is a big difference to what I am used to because there is a big crowd there, and the atmosphere is going to be brilliant I think.
“I have played on the stages and I am not worried, I have played at Bolton and at Lakeside too, as well as European Tour events so I know what it is like.
“I haven’t played Wes before but I have seen him around and he is a decent player, and although he hasn’t always been great on the big stage I am sure he will not be worried, I certainly won’t be.”