DEAN Winstanley has all the confidence he needs as he bids to become BDO world champion.
The Swinton thrower, aged 30, came from nowhere last year to reach the final before eventually losing out to Martin Adams.
This year has seen Winstanley catapult up to third in the rankings but he shrugged off the suggestion that there’s more pressure on him now that the expectancy levels have increased.
He said: “I’ve just got to knuckle down and play my game. My confidence is through the roof and my scoring is very good. I’ll be stepping up my practising now.
“I’ve played well on TV recently, better than I did at Lakeside last year, so that’s a good sign too.”
It has been a successful year for the father of five.
He won the Czech Open in November and also performed well in the Grand Slam of Darts against players from the superior PDC last month. He beat five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in the group stages before narrowly losing to Mark Walsh in the last 16. And it will be Dutch opposition again in the opening round at Lakeside on January 9 with Winstanley up against Joey ten Berge.
Now based in Buxton where he lives with Lorraine Farlam, who will compete in the women’s version at Lakeside, ‘Deano’ still hones his talents locally. “I make a 115-mile round trip to Conisbrough every week,” he said. “I play for the Castle Club and we’ve won the title the last two years.”