Prem call is no joke for Newton
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.