Paul Hogan looks for success at Lakeside in the BDO World Professional Championships (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Paul Hogan looks for success at Lakeside in the BDO World Professional Championships
AFTER a seven-year absence, Basingstoke darts ace Paul Hogan is preparing for a return to Lakeside.
The 50-year-old, from Buckskin, will take on the Czech Republic’s Karel Sedlacek at the British Darts Organisation World Professional Championships at the famous Frimley Green venue on Monday afternoon.
Hogan, a two-time quarter-finalist at Lakeside, goes into the tournament as a massive outsider – but he harbours hopes of ruffling a few feathers at the home of darts.
He wants to break new ground at Lakeside next week by progressing beyond the quarter-finals of the BDO World Professional Championships.
The 50-year-old, who lives in Black Down Close, in Buckskin, has twice reached the last eight at the most famous venue in darts, being knocked out at the quarter-final stage in 1995 and 2006.
He will return to Lakeside on Monday, taking on the Czech Republic’s Karel
Sedlacek in a preliminary round match.
But, despite being a big outsider, ranked 488 in the world, Hogan remains confident going into the tournament,
“I am playing well at the moment and would love to get further than the quarter-finals this time,” he said.
“Getting to the quarter-finals again is my first aim and if I can get any further than that it would be brilliant.
“I have been going well in practice, playing with (former world championship semi-finalist) Colin Monk and his son, Arron. It’s been really good practicing with themand I am pleased with the way I am playing.”
Hogan, who is a delivery driver by trade, will be making his seventh appearance at Lakeside. He last qualified for the worlds in 2007 and cannot wait to return to the big stage.
“I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s great to be going back to Lakeside after seven years away.
“Ever since I qualified for the first time, getting to Lakeside has been my aim every year. To have got there for a seventh time is great
and it will be really special when I walk into the arena for the first time.
“The atmosphere there is great and the crowd really get behind the players. It’s just a brilliant place to play darts.”
Hogan is expected to win his first match on Monday afternoon, when he takes on Sedlacek, a player more than 100 places below him in the BDO world rankings.
“I do not know anything about him,” Hogan admitted.
“I looked him up on the internet and he hasn’t won anything of note but that does not mean he is a bad player, because bad players do not make it through to Lakeside.
“I’m pretty confident about getting through that match though. The crowd should be behind me and I have a lot of friends going to watch, so it should be good.”
If he can beat Sedlacek, Hogan, who is nicknamed Crocodile Dundee, will come up against 15th seed and fellow Englishman Scott Mitchell in the first round.
Hogan said: “I have played Scott a few times and it’s always been pretty even. If I get through, I expect it to be a good game between us.
“Scott will be more scared of me than I am of him because the pressure will be on him. He is the seed and will be expected to win but I will have already had a match to get used to the venue and so on.”