Glen Durrant chats with Alex Moss ahead of the BDO’s return to Lakeside for the World Trophy
Glen Durrant admits he could not have picked a better opponent to take on in the first game of this year’s World Trophy.
The BDO number one and pre-tournament favourite takes on 2004 world champion Andy Fordham today, with Durrant excited at the prospect of facing the Viking on the Lakeside stage.
“I’m playing an absolute legend in the first round in Andy and I’m so excited about that,” he said.
“Even to be playing on the stage with him is a bit surreal, but I guess as the number one seed I’ve got to be a bit more ruthless now.
“I couldn’t have picked a better draw. I’m huge fan of Andy’s and have a lot of humility whenever I see him.
“I respect him very much for what he’s been through, but he’s back playing very good darts.
“I’m not taking him lightly. I’m practising like it’s my toughest game. I just need to get over that obstacle on the stage and the disappointments I’ve had up there.”
Durrant’s last two appearances at Lakeside have ended in heartbreak, with a 6-5 defeat to Martin Adams in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Championship followed by a 5-4 reverse to Scott Waites back in January this year.
With the World Trophy having switched venues from Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse to the Lakeside Country Club, Duzza has been presented with an opportunity to quickly erase those painful memories this weekend.
“I think I’ve done away with predictions now when I go on the Lakeside stage because it’s broken my heart twice,” the 45-year-old said. “The losses to Scott Waites and Martin Adams at crucial times were hard to take.
“I know I’m the number one seed and I’ve been practising really hard. The will to succeed is really strong for me.
“I always have a quiet period after Lakeside, so I’ve only done Scotland, Isle of Man, Denmark and Wales so far this season.
“I feel really fresh and it’s probably the best feeling I’ve got.”
Durrant’s results have steadily progressed during the 2016 season, with a run to the last 16 of the Scottish Open followed up with five quarter-final appearances in a row.
The Teesside thrower got to the last eight of the Isle of Man Classic before reaching the semi-finals of both the Isle of Man Open and Denmark Open.
Duzza’s first win of 2016 came earlier this month when he triumphed in the Denmark Masters, while a deciding leg defeat to Scott Mitchell denied him the Red Dragon Welsh Open crown and back-to-back titles.
For many darts fans it will be the first time they will see Durrant since his quarter-final exit at the World Championship, with this weekend’s World Trophy to be screened live on Dave.
“I think it’s really important we’re on TV,” he said. “When I’m going out negotiating sponsor deals for myself it’s important that you’re being seen.
“Now Dave is involved and hopefully it’s going to be a success. They’ve been involved in the boxing and it’s just great that this is on TV as well.
“It’s just what the BDO need at the moment, because it’s been a tough year.”
Durrant eludes to the troubles which have plagued the BDO so far in 2016. The loss of the BBC’s television deal to rival code the PDC was a big blow, as was the cancellations of two events, the Players Championship and the Festival of Darts.
The fate of the World Trophy raised concerns when the Victoria Warehouse pulled out of hosting the event due to the BDO breaching the contract they had with the venue.
A switch to the Lakeside was announced last month for the World Trophy, and Duzza hopes this weekend can be the beginning of a fresh start for the BDO.
“I had 18 people going to Manchester who all lost money on hotel fees”
“It’s been a very difficult few months,” he said. “I was made promises that weren’t fulfilled.
“I’m a BDO man and it didn’t take me much persuasion to stay, but it’s been a very frustrating few months and very disappointing, hopefully this is the turning point and we’re moving forward.
“But we’ve got to have a long, hard look at ourselves and make sure this World Trophy does work.
“I had 18 people going to Manchester who all lost money on hotel fees. You can understand why people are afraid to buy tickets.
“As the number one player I’ve got to be out there promoting the organisation I’m in and I just hope the Lakeside is going to be a big success, because it’s just what the players and the organisation need at this moment.
“It’s a really important competition for many reasons and it’s going to be a pivotal moment for the BDO. We need it to be a success and we need the fans to get behind the competition too.”