“MY aim? To win it.”
Those are the adamant words from Hartlepool darts player Tony Eccles as he prepares for next week’s 2013 World Championships.
Eccles, who returned to the BDO circuit in February last year with a superb victory in the Scottish Open, takes on the Belgian Geert De Vos on Monday night.
It is Eccles’ seventh time at Lakeside and he feels if he can progress past the first two rounds he can win the £100,000 prize money.
“My aim? To win it,” Eccles told SportMail.
“I’m planning on being there for the entire duration of the week.
“I have more experience than anyone else there.
“I’ve played in all the BDO and PDC TV tournaments and when I’m on my day I can beat anyone.
“I don’t know much about Geert. If I can get past him I think I’ll play Scott Waites. Should I beat them both I can go all the way.
“Lakeside is smaller compared to the Alexander Palace and if I can get used to the surroundings quickly I will be dangerous.”
His stint on the PDC began to take its toll on Eccles towards the back end of 2011 with his love of darts fading.
He maintains that “he can never love darts” again and would “never be pro again for definite”, but working has improved his performances on the oche.
“Work is a good mix for me,” Eccles admitted.
“I’ve been practising a lot over Christmas and playing in local competitions.
“Playing in matches is better than practising because you get the feel for the oche.
“I haven’t done as much preparation as I used to for the PDC – I do sufficient amounts now and that’s good for me.”
Eccles’ first round match against De Vos starts at 6.30pm on Monday with coverage on ESPN.