Canadian Matt Campbell qualified by the CDC ranking as highest placed Canadian player for the PDC World Championship, He gave his debut against Mark McGeeney.
Though he lost he played 1:3 a solid game at his debut which was his first stage match as well.
In the run-up to the World Championship we did this interview.
Matt, you reached four of the CDC finals and won two of those and as the highest ranked Canadian player qualified for the PDC World Championship. What were your thoughts when you realised it?
Going into the last CDC event I knew I was ahead and what I had to do to make it a for sure thing that I would be the top ranked Canadian player and the first event I put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish that and it didn't work out the best losing in my first round the next day I just tried to forget about the points and what was on the line and just play and was fortunate enough to do so and come away with the spot.
And how do you feel now such a short time before the event - unsure, tense or just looking forward to it?
I feel great about the tournament not really nervous or anything yet so I am just looking forward to being on the stage and in front of the crowd.
Since when do you already play the CDC Tour?
I started playing the CDC tour for almost 2 years now. I did have to start off as a qualifier then my performances got me the chance to have a tour card for the CDC.
How popular is the CDC Circuit in Canada?
In Canada the CDC tour popularity is growing rapidly a lot more Canadians came out the last year and with more events in Canada now I think they will see a lot more of Canada's talent.
What about the standard on the CDC Circuit? Do you feel you improved by playing on the CDC Circuit?
The CDC is a very tough room to play in a lot of talented players so I do believe playing in it has made my game improve and makes me want to improve even more.
How much experience with playing on stage have you already got and do you look forward to play on the stage of the Alexandra Palace?
I don't really have any stage experience I have played on the live stream for the CDC I guess that is stage play but nothing can compare to world championship stage.
As you know Jim Long - did he have some advice for your World Championship appearance?
Yeah Jim Long is a good friend we practice together and he has given me advice and some insight on what to kind of expect so it's great to have someone like him to be able to talk to and clear some concerns if there were any.
Do you follow PDC tournaments on TV or stream?
I do watch some PDC tournaments through their website I don't get to watch them all but I do enjoy watching the darts the players on the tour produce.
Do you now some of the PDC players or might be even played against some before?
I have played John Part a couple times but I have not played any of the PDC stars of now.
You will play against Mark McGeeney in your first match, who is a former BDO number 1 - do you know anything about him?
I know Mark is the former BDO number 1 I know he has had a good year with the PDC good scorer and good finisher so it will be a good first round match which ever way it goes.
Does it matter for you at all whether you know the player against whom you play?
I don't think it matters who I play if I know them or not if I can just keep my mind set clear on what I am doing then I will be happy with the way I play no matter who it is.
How do you assess your chances? And what do you hope to achieve?
I believe my chances are good just like everyone else's; it will just come down to who is the better player that day.
Do you prepare especially for the World Championship?
No haven't prepared specifically for the world championships just prepare like I have been for every other tournament.
For how long do you already play darts and how did you come into contact with the sport?
I have been playing darts for about 12 years now, I was introduced into the game by one of my close friends parents they taught me my finishes my math and taught me the game.
Like Jim Long and John Part and you come from Ontario - is Ontario some kind of hotbed of darts? How wide spread is the sport in Ontario? And how does the dart scene look where you live?
There are a lot of great players in Ontario just like the rest of Canada. I believe the sport is big in Ontario a lot of players and a lot of tournaments make for good players all around the province.
Do you play in a league?
I don't really get time to play in the league due to I work a night shift.
You this year qualified as well for the World Masters - does that mean you play ADO or NDFC tournaments as well?
Yes I did and I play whatever tournaments I can get to so if they're ADO or NDFC I will go to them.
Was it the first time you qualified for the World Masters? And did you already have a look at the Alexandra Palace when you were in London?
, it was my first time at the world masters and no, I didn't go and check out the Alexandra palace figured I would be closer to it coming for the world championship so I will check it out then.
One could read in social media the start into the World Masters was rather chaotic - did you feel the same?
I believe it was very chaotic with the re-draws and contract signing and not knowing what the prize pool was yes very chaotic.
Was that your first time in London or have you been there before?
This will be my first time in London for the world championships.
It looks like with the qualification for both the World Masters and the World Championship you had a very successful darting year - was there any special reason for that?
Yeah there is always a special reason for success putting the time and effort in travelling to the tournaments that can get you to these types of places and going to the qualifiers which my wife Emma Campbell has been amazing with planning the trips and even coming (even though it may be boring to just watch) without her support wouldn't be where I am.
What would you think was you biggest achievement in darts so far?
My biggest achievement would be qualifying for the PDC would championships and other than that it has been to be able to win 2 CDC events in a tough field I believe that is a big achievement.
Do you practice a lot?
I practice enough to not tire myself out and to keep me interested in a practice routine rather than ware myself down and get bored of the practice routine.
How does your practice look and have you got some kind of practice plan?
I practice my doubles and triples and then finishes with games like 121 and around the board and then finish up with some games of 501 and cricket.
Do you practice alone or with a practice partner?
I practice alone and met up with some players to get practice games going.
And do you prepare especially for the World Championship? Might be practice more then usually? Does your practice routine include some kind of mental practice as well?
I just do the same preparation that has gotten me to where I am today. I try to practice in the same mindset as I would be playing a match that way the mental part gets work on just like the mechanics do.
Will somebody accompany you to London to support you? And do you feel such a kind of support is important for you?
My wife will be attending to be there and there are two other North American players Danny Baggish and Darin Young I believe they will be there to support me like I will be for them and a lot of people back home from the United States and Canada giving me support through messages.
As I know more or less nothing at all about you - how would you describe yourself?
I don't know how I would describe myself really just down to earth whatever happens happens type of person.
What is your occupation? I am a welder which that would be my profession.
What do you think is your weakness and what your strength?
My weakness I believe is being too hard on myself and my strengths are I am able to just shut my brain off tune everything out and just throw.
Did you ever think of taking part in Qualifying School and might be become a professional darts player in the PDC?
I would love to give the Q-School and shot and see if I am able to earn a tour card and see how it goes from there but first thing is first see how I do at the world championships and go from there.
What fascinates you most in darts?
I like the competitiveness in the sport when you get to the line and then when you walk away everything is just back to normal joking around be friendly with everyone until you get to the line then they're your worst enemy and the fact you're able to play it till any age really so it's a lifetime game that I can enjoy and you meet a ton of amazing people while doing it plus seeing a bunch of different places as well.
Are you interested in other sports or have you got other interests and hobbies outside of darts?
I don't really have any other hobbies just work family kids and darts.