James Wade has revealed that he is hungry for success and excited for the year ahead as he prepares to face Wez Newton in the first McCoy’s Premier League night in Belfast this evening.

The world number three, who has suffered with well-documented mental health issues, admitted that he has rediscovered his passion for darts after a trophy-less year in 2012.

‘The Machine’, winner of seven major titles, is ready to produce his best form when the 10 man tournament gets underway in front of 8,000 fans at the Odyssey arena.

“The whole of darts excites me at the moment,” said Wade, who won the tournament in 2009.

“That is probably going to sound weird coming from me but I am enjoying the game again now and I am in a good place.”

“I doesn’t bother me what the format is, I am just really looking forward to being part of the Premier League once again and to playing good darts on the big stage.

“Some things will be in my advantage tonight. I have more experience but there are other things that could favour Wez.

“He will be very keen but at the moment I am just as keen so I’m looking forward to the game.

“I didn’t play well at the World Championships at all but I reached the semi-finals so, in a strange way, that has given me some extra confidence.

“I have been underachieving for a little while now. When I wasn’t too well last year I had some time to reflect and realise that. I thought about what I had been doing wrong and what I can do to improve.

“I have rediscovered my love for the game and I am enjoying playing darts. I love winning and beating people up on the dart board and that’s my job. It’s what I am ready to do again this year.

“I’m very happy and ready to show everyone what I’m all about. The Premier League provides the perfect stage for me to do that. I’m genuinely very confident and ready to play darts.”

By Chris Murphy

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