11-05-2011

He’s a world champion, a four time world semi-finalist, and the Viking is now offering some pearls of wisdom to the 32 successful Speedy qualifiers as they prepare for the UK Open in next month.

Andy Fordham has been there, seen it and done it during a glittering career in the sport and was on hand to oversee proceedings at all four Speedy qualifying events in Bristol, Dartford, Stoke and Glasgow. Andy Fordham is a man with a plan for Speedy's qualifiers The Speedy Hire UK Open offered 32 staff and customers of all abilities the chance to compete in the event and while success at the Reebok Stadium might now be slim, Fordham said that by taking some straightforward advice on board, there might be a surprise or two along the way.

He said: “The standard at the Speedy qualifiers was extremely high and I think every single qualifier should be proud of their achievements to get this far.”I have come up with three simple tips for them to take on board from now on. Amateur players everywhere might find it useful too!”

1. Practise, practise, practise! In some ways, qualifying for the Speedy Hire UK Open was the easy part. The tough bit is getting the preparation right for the big event itself. With that in mind, there is no substitute for putting in the hard work on the practise board. In darts, you get out what you put in, which is why some good, hard matchplay in the run-up to the event is the ideal preparation.

2. Don’t think about it! It might sound a bit of a contradiction, but some of the best advice I had was not to think too much about your game once you are up on the stage. The moment any player starts to think about the way he is holding the dart, how they are hitting the board or even how they are standing, is the moment they are on the back foot. If any tinkering or modifications are necessary, then make sure they are done on the practise board and not on the big stage!

3. Play the board! The cream of professional darts will descend upon Bolton for the Speedy Hire UK Open, so it will be completely understandable for a player to be overawed. While it is easier said than done, my advice would be to just play the board, and not the opponent. You can’t affect the way the other player is going to throw, so just look after what you are doing and concentrate on your own game. If that is enough to win then brilliant! If not, then at least you gave yourself the best possible chance.”

Andy Fordham will be at the UK Open with Speedy to interview some of the players and speak with fans as the action hots up on the oche. The Speedy Hire UK Open will take place from Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5 at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton.

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