Hamilton hoping switch to Team XQMax can help him climb back into the top eight

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Andy Hamilton hopes a move to a new manufacturer this summer can help his chances of a return to the top eight in the PDC.

The former World Championship finalist will become the first Englishman to join Team XQMax Darts when his long term sponsorship starts with the manufacturer in August.

The Hammer has had a tough two years on the PDC circuit and has slipped down to 29th in the organisation’s Order of Merit, but hopes this switch can be the catalyst for a return to the top eight.

“It’s a massive vote of confidence and belief for me that I will become the first English player at Team XQMax,” Hamilton said.

“To be joining the manufacturer that includes current world number one Michael van Gerwen, Vincent van der Voort and Benito van de Pas as their professionals is such a huge privilege.

“The last two years have been a real struggle with my form and personal issues along the way.

“I believe in my own ability and I will be doing my very best and putting the hard practice in to get back where I belong.”

Hamilton has reached the final of the World Championship, UK Open and Grand Slam of Darts, as well as appearing in the semi-finals of the Premier League, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals.

But a slump in form over the last two years has seen the Hammer slip down the rankings and in danger of dropping out of the top 32.

The 49-year-old reached the quarter-finals of only two tournaments on the PDC circuit last year, but is determined to end his recent decline in results with the backing of a new manufacturer this summer.

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