| Daventry's Matthew Edgar to compete in UK national darts championship with Red Dragon Darts
Daventry’s very own Matthew Edgar, 24, is set to compete in the Speedy Hire UK Open Darts Championship with his Red Dragon Fury II 23 gram Darts.
The event will take place at the Bolton Reebok Stadium, after he successfully qualified during one of the eight events this spring and finishing an impressive 95th in the order of merit. ‘
The Edgar’ as he is better known, has been playing darts for ten years and has finally gained his well deserved moment in the spotlight. During his qualifying journey he fought off stiff competition from Co Stompé, Michael Van Gerwin and Andy Smith, all of which boast impressive professional world rankings.
The Speedy Hire UK Open is on during 2nd - 5th June 2011 and boasts an impressive £200,000 prize fund. The PDC tournament is widely known as the ‘FA Cup of darts’ because amateur players can come up against the professionals after the third round stage. It really is an exciting opportunity for anyone to play anyone! The 2010 champion, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, is set to defend his title and gain his 5th UK Open championship. The UK Open is televised on Sky Sports (its biggest audience, losing out only to football) and fans are treated to a unique style of play where eight matches are played simultaneously.
Edgars’ success hasn’t come easily. Years of practice, late nights and selling a number of personal items, including his much loved Playstation, was needed to cover the various competition entry fees. He says “it has been worth it as it is my ultimate aim to play professionally’’. Sponsorship deals are crucial at this level of darts play and local business support is valuable. Edgar adds he has been “overwhelmed with the support he has received”.
Working for Northampton Town as a Sports Coach, Edgar is currently sponsored by Slim Jim’s and plays for Warwickshire County. He regrets he is no longer able to play in local darts leagues as he needs to utilise his time for valuable practice hours. In a typical working week he practices for up to ten hours and can often be seen sharing the practice board with good friend and professional darts player, Kevin Painter. It was purely by chance that Edgar met Painter and it turned out for the best for both of them. Painter found a player who could challenge him on the board and Edgar was able to learn from him.
Painter will be joining the UK Open in the third round with the possibility that Edgar could play him. Painter and Edgar have never played each other in a professional competition, Edgar said “I would be nervous playing him, but I know I can beat him and he knows I can beat him”. Edgar says his ultimate achievement in the Speedy Hire UK Open would be ‘’to play a world champion’’ and ‘’I would ideally love to get to the third round to play Phil Taylor, but Barneveld would do’’. Edgar also added “If I win Bolton I will retire as I want to go out on a high”. I doubt very much he would retire as winning the competition certainly would raise his profile in the professional darts world.
Edgar currently has the odds of 2500/1 on winning the competition. The all important first round draw will be made live on Sky Sports on 12th May. Tickets for the UK Open event can be purchased directly from the Reebok Stadium. Edgar fans can follow his journey on Facebook.
Date : 13-05-2011