|Interview Paul Nicholson||Back||1||2||3||4||5||Forward|
Are you as aggressive as you appear on stage or are you only an aggressive player like Kevin Painter?
I'm quite a placid person off the oche, but when it comes to playing darts in front of thousands of people I am different person. In some ways I am like Kevin, but the thing that most people know about me off the oche is that I'm a nice guy. When I get up there, it's a totally different world. Darts is my living, and my opponent is trying to take that from me!
Is it a burden to be some kind of "bad boy"? Or will it in the long run be difficult to handle for you?
Not at all. I thrive from that and I hope in the months and years to come I can keep it going. Certain people in the crowd like the bad boy and will get fun from it, as people will get fun from the good guys who dance around too.
You don´t seem to be too irritated by the crowds reaction to you - how do you manage that?
It doesn't come naturally. When I first came into TV events I heard everything but now I blank it out. I look down a bit more instead of looking at the crowd. You do still hear some things from the crowd that could be hurtful or personal but you have to find a way to focus on the game and the board because there is too much at stake.
You didn´t play the DPA circuit this year because you wanted to give the PDC Pro Tour circuit a try. Are you content with the result?
I've probably exceeded my expectations this year. All I wanted to do was qualify for the World Championship again and kick on in 2010, but getting to the World Grand Prix was a long-term ambition and to get a first Pro Tour win in my first year was a gratifying result at a very hard personal time in my life. It's given me the confidence I needed for the rest of the year.
And did it help you to decide which way to go now?
Without a shadow of a doubt. That win in Australia has made my mind up where I'm going to be for the rest of my career.
Would you say playing the Pro Circuit is hard work - harder might be then you thought it would be?
Initially yes it was. It's a bit of a culture shock and people don't realise just how good you have to be, but once you get used to that you can work on it, and if you're good enough, you will succeed. You have to be mentally stronger than anything else.
Can one compare the DPA circuit with the PDC Pro Circuit or is it totally different?
It's quite similar in the structure, but the standard is completely different. You can't really imagine how difficult it is to play on the Pro Tour and you have to experience it yourself to know what it's like. But the Australian circuit is growing by the month and the job that Kevin Berlyn and Rob Denny have done there is nothing short of miraculous, I truly believe that. They are branching out into New Zealand and that testifies that they don't just want to sit on their hands and do the same thing year after year but to make sure the Oceanic region is on the map.