Prem call is no joke for New­ton


Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

WES NEW­TON thought he was the vic­tim of a prank call when Barry Hearn told him he would be com­pet­ing in the McCoy’s Pre­mier League this year.

The world No.7 (right) is one of three new faces in­cluded in the ex­panded 10-man com­pe­ti­tion, which gets un­der way in Belfast to­mor­row.

The 35-year-old, who has spent the past two years in­side the world’s top 10 but missed out on a wild­card 12 months ago, plays 2009 champ James Wade.

How­ever, he re­vealed that he thought a call from PDC boss Hearn telling him of his in­clu­sion in this year’s £520,000 event was a friend play­ing a joke.

“I thought it was some­one wind­ing me up – I didn’t be­lieve it at first,” he ad­mit­ted.

“I even had to ask Barry if he was say­ing what I thought he was say­ing.

“I didn’t sleep that night and when I went round to my par­ents’ house I was shak­ing with ex­cite­ment.

“Ev­ery player wants to be world cham­pion, but the Pre­mier League is up there with it now.

“This is some­thing I wanted so much and I’ve fi­nally got it so I’m over the moon.

“I sup­pose it will fi­nally seem real when I get on stage for the first time.” The open­ing night, at a sold-out Odyssey Arena, sees reign­ing Pre­mier League and world cham­pion Phil Tay­lor play debu­tant Michael van Ger­wen in a re­peat of last month’s Ally Pally fi­nal.

Adrian Lewis plays Simon Whit­lock, while Ray­mond van Barn­eveld meets Gary An­der­son and Robert Thorn­ton takes on Andy Hamil­ton.

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