Young An­gus darts star sets his sights on world ti­tle.

DARTS: An­gus teen aims to fol­low in foot­steps of Wil­son, Wal­lace and An­der­son

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - GRAEME STRA­CHAN gstra­[email protected]­

For­far Academy pupil Nathan Gir­van will make his bid to be­come only the fourth Scots­man in his­tory to be­come a world darts cham­pion.

The An­gus teenager is aim­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps of Jocky Wil­son, Les Wal­lace and Gary An­der­son when he takes to the fa­mous Lake­side stage on Thurs­day.

The 16-year-old will be ap­pear­ing in the fi­nal of the BDO Lake­side World Youth Cham­pi­onship at Frim­ley Green for the sec­ond time in just three years.

The Lake­side fi­nal will be shown live on Quest and Eu­rosport in the UK and screened across Europe.

Nathan bat­tled through tough com­pe­ti­tion at Bridling­ton Spa to book his place in the fi­nal to set up a date with Eng­land’s Leighton Ben­nett in front of a world­wide TV au­di­ence of mil­lions.

The Craichie young­ster will be given a tough test by Ben­nett who stunned the dart­ing world in Au­gust by de­feat­ing a host of pro­fes­sional play­ers to win his first se­nior event aged 12.

He was de­feated by Hol­land’s Justin Van Ter­gouw when he com­peted in the fi­nal in 2017 but said he’s feel­ing con­fi­dent he can go one bet­ter on Thurs­day.

He said: “I prac­tised re­ally hard over Christ­mas and I’m feel­ing con­fi­dent this year.

“Ev­ery­one around me has been say­ing good luck and I’ve got a lot of sup­port.

“As soon as I picked up a dart 10 years ago all I wanted was to be world cham­pion, so it would mean the world to lift the tro­phy on Thurs­day.”

Nathan has been throw­ing darts for as long as he can re­mem­ber but things started to get se­ri­ous when he joined the An­gus Darts Academy, which is based at the Café Pro­ject in Ar­broath.

He was un­beat­able from the time he started play­ing ev­ery week at the academy, which is run by Ar­broath and Scot­land in­ter­na­tional darts player Alan Soutar.

“Every­body at An­gus Darts Academy is im­mensely proud of Nathan and the kids will all be tuned into Eu­rosport on Thurs­day to watch his bid for world glory,” he said.

“Hav­ing come through the tough qual­i­fier twice in three years shows he has the game to go all the way but this year is no easy fi­nal.

“Right now Nathan ranks amongst the top two or three youth play­ers in the world.

“His first visit will def­i­nitely give him the edge this time round. How­ever, his English op­po­nent is also a very strong young player.

“Nathan has the abil­ity and game to be­come world cham­pion.”

Soutar nick­named Nathan “NVG” as his scor­ing prow­ess re­minded him of fast-throw­ing Dutch sen­sa­tion Michael van Ger­wen, who is a three-time world cham­pion.

Nathan has a gru­elling prac­tise regime which he puts in place af­ter school and is now dream­ing of mak­ing a ca­reer out of the sport which now pro­duces multi-mil­lion­aires.

Pic­ture: Kim Cess­ford.

Nathan Gir­van hopes to be­come only the fourth Scot to land a world darts ti­tle when he com­petes at the Lake­side.

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