A YOUNG darts protégé from Maltby le Marsh is hoping to hit the bullseye when he competes against some of the best youngsters on the planet in Germany this weekend.
Eighteen-year-old Sam Hewson, a former pupil of John Spendluffe Technology College in Alford, is taking part in the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event in Bruehl, Cologne in his first overseas event.
Sam recently picked up his first ranking points in the previous PDC tournament in Reading, where he saw off Joshua Richardson 4-1 in the first round.
He will be pitting his wits against over 140 young players from across the globe with a top prize of £500 for the winner.
After first picking up the arrows aged just eight, Sam began to play in his bedroom with a dart board propped up on the windowsill.
His career began for his local Crown Inn pub team in Maltby le Marsh, where he discovered his talent for darts.
“I used to just knock about in my bedroom with the darts on the TV in the background, trying to emulate the pros,” he said.
“After half a year or so playing for the Crown Inn I discovered I was half decent and now I practice every day and play four nights a week including at county level.
“I try to model my game on Wes Newton.
“He is the world number six and for many years he never quite reached the highest levels, but he kept going at it and now in his mid 30s he’s reached the top.
“When I find myself in a bit of a lull I think of how much he dug in and it spurs me on.”
Dad Kevin says Sam is far from being out of his depth at the top youth levels.
“Sam has lots of drive and desire and wants to make the grade, he’s not at all out of his depth at this level,” he said.
“It’s the start of a journey for him, Germany will be his first tournament abroad and he’s looking forward to testing himself.”
Sam isn’t the only budding darts player in the Hewson household, his younger brother Robbie is making waves in the Lincolnshire Superleague and already has two ‘nine darters’ to his name.
Sam says the Germany trip will be his ‘biggest event yet’ but admits to some pre-tournament nerves.
“I always get nervous before matches, but in the same vein I can’t wait to go over there,” he said.
“I try to block everything out and focus on the games, the players don’t tend to speak to eachother that much until afterwards.”
Sam has just completed his first year studying to be a sports teacher at Lincoln University, commuting daily from his home.
“I hope to make it in the professional darts game, the sports teaching is something I can fall back on,” he said.
“I have to try and stay positive and believe I can make it.”
Sam has asked us to thank his sponsors, Focus Signs of Alford and ARG Plumbing of Louth for their support.
Find out how Sam fares in Germany in the Leader next week.