Ricky Evans is hoping he can find his top gear as he gets ready to take to the big stage in Dublin this weekend.
The Kettering darts ace has enjoyed a fine 12 months as he returns to the Citywest Convention Centre for the BoyleSports World Grand Prix - a year on from making his debut in the tournament.
Evans’ consistency on the PDC ProTour has earned him another appearance in Ireland and he will have the honour of opening the double-in tournament on Sunday night when he takes on Chris Dobey in his first-round match.
Evans concedes he has been “struggling” in the past few weeks but he is hoping a Sky Sports-televised tournament will help spark him back to his best form.
“All year you play to get to this point,” the 29-year-old said.
“This is the start of a great time of television tournaments leading up to the World Championship and you always want to be part of it.
“To be honest, I have been struggling a bit over the last couple of months but now is the point at which you hope your form can really kick in.
“Everyone involved in the Grand Prix deserves to be there so there are no easy draws.
“I am quite happy to be playing Chris and I am sure he will be quite happy to be playing me.
“It’s a short format to start with and it’s double in so hitting the doubles quickly will be crucial.”
Some of Evans’ best performances this year have come on the continent on the PDC European Tour.
And, having finished as one of the top 32 players on the European Tour Order of Merit, ‘Rapid’ has qualified for the European Championship, which will be held in Göttingen, Germany between October 24 and 27.
The draw for that event, which will be screened live on ITV4, has given Evans a tough first-round test against the reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant.
“That’s another interesting draw for me and it will be very tough against Glen,” Evans added.
“But I am really looking forward to that and my dad will coming out there with me.
“I love playing in Germany, it’s probably my favourite place to play.
“The people are passionate but also very respectful.”