Aldershot's James Wade says he's ready for the PDC championship at Alexandra Palace
James Wade insists he is ready and raring to go for a shot at an elusive world title.
The Aldershot darts ace is the second most successful player in PDC history – behind 15-time world champion Phil Taylor – having won no fewer than seven major titles.
But despite a number of brave challenges, including two semi-final eliminations in the last two years, the 30-year-old left-hander has never won the richest prize in world darts and will be looking to end that sequence at Alexandra Palace this next fortnight.
Wade, nicknamed The Machine, begins his title shot with a first round match against Darren Webster today (Thursday).
But if he is to finally claim that elusive world crown and claim the £250,00 first prize he will have to arrest a disappointing year which has seen him suspended for four tournaments for breaching a PDC disciplinary code and also drop from third to sixth in the world rankings.
It’s no secret that Wade has encountered a number of personal problems on his rapid rise to the top after admitting his battle against depression and bipolar disorder.
But after getting engaged to ‘walk-on’ girlfriend Samantha Marsh in the summer, Wade is feeling in a much better place and is now ready for a crack to claim the title he’s always craved.
“I’m feeling positive about the worlds,” Wade said. “My mind is in the right place, my personal life is in the right place and my darts are feeling much better.
“I’ve been practicing hard so let’s hope it all pays off as I would love nothing more than to win the World Championship.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on that stage, I've got mixed memories but It could be my year.
“I’ve been unlucky over the years at this tournament but that’s the game of darts. There can only be one winner.
“Last year I was nowhere near my best and I reached the semis so I’m hoping that it comes out here, because if it does, I’ll beat anyone.
“I’ve been putting the work in, so let’s see what happens but I'm up for it. You can only take one game at a time and I'm confident I can get through the first match, then I'll look towards the second.
“Of course I can win it, but there are a lot of players who will think that. That's what we are all here for.
“I've prepared properly though and given myself the best chance I can.”
Coverage of the PDC World Championship can be seen live on Sky Sports with the final taking place on Wednesday January 1, 2014.