Sam’s heading for worlds

Sam Head. Picture: Sarah Standing (124171-5518)
Sam Head. Picture: Sarah Standing (124171-5518)
Louis Arnell hit at 120 finish. Picture: Sarah Standing (160515-7312)

Newcome have got Admiral’s number

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Hampshire qualifier Sam Head will hope to emulate former champion Keith Deller when he takes to the oche for his debut at the 2014 BDO Lakeside World Championships in January.

Deller – himself a Lakeside debutant in 1983 – won the tournament at the first time of asking, becoming the only qualifier ever to lift the trophy.

And Head believes there’s ‘no reason’ lightning could not strike twice, with this year’s tournament the 30th anniversary of ‘Del Boy’ upsetting top-seed Eric Bristow 6-5 in the final.

He said: ‘Why not? You’ve got to be in it to win it – and nobody had heard of Christian Kist a few years ago until he won it.

‘There’s no point turning up thinking you can’t win it because anyone can beat anyone on their day.

‘If you’re not in it to win it, what’s the point?’

The Portsmouth player, 20, still has to beat an as-yet-unnamed qualifier from New Zealand in the first week of January to make it into the televised last 32 stage.

But even if he loses, he will still have earned £2,000 for making it to the preliminary round.

That alone would be a jackpot for Head – far surpassing the average day’s pay he currently receives in his work as an apprentice plumber.

The biggest game of Head’s fledgling career will undoubtedly be the preliminary match.

And – if he makes it through – he faces a tasty clash with number 10 seed Glen Durrant in the first round proper.

Head’s eyes are well and truly on the record total prize pot of £300,000 and if he were to go all the way and lift the world title, he would be the youngest man ever to do so.

But he is refusing to let the occasion overwhelm him.

Head said: ‘I’m totally relaxed about it and I don’t get nervous.

‘I am six wins away from the title.

‘I know nothing about the guy I’m playing – except he will be top of the New Zealand qualifying table.

‘Hopefully he’ll be rubbish!

‘I made the last 16 of the Winmau Masters last year – and just about scraped in on ranking points, travelling to Latvia, Holland and Romania to make it here.’

It’s certainly not the most glamorous of routes to the tournament.

But make no mistake, Head is in it to win it.

n Simon Whitlock eased into round two of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

The Aussie, who now lives in Waterlooville, topped his group and was set to play Ted Hankey in the first knockout round last night.