John Henderson is hoping for Scottish success on more than one front today.
The Highlander returns to the oche in Milton Keynes this afternoon in the first of four PDC Pro Tour Players Championship events being played this week.
At the same time as the 48-year-old is in darting action Scotland’s men’s football team will play in a major tournament for the first time since 1998.
The national side take on the Czech Republic at Hampden in their opening Euro 2020 encounter.
Hampden on Henderson’s mind
As a passionate football fan Henderson was looking forward to watching Scotland until the game clashed with his darts.
The Huntly thrower is hoping to produce some good performances this afternoon, but will also be wondering what’s happening at Hampden.
He said: “It’s funny it might be a pleasant distraction. We start at 2pm which is the same time as Scotland.
“I’ve been waiting for months for this and looking forward to it and the first kicks off at the same time as the darts.
“All phones have to be switched off in the arena when 2pm comes. The priority is obviously the darts for me.
“After the first game you always have a bit of a break so I’ll hopefully be able to check the score after that.
“It might be a pleasant distraction if I’m thinking about what might be happening at Hampden rather than worrying about the darts too much.
“Hopefully the boys do well for Scotland and I can have a good run as well.”
Looking for an improvement in form
Henderson has endured a disappointing season to date, having not progressed beyond the last 64 of any tournament.
As a result he has slipped to 84th on this year’s Pro Tour order of merit.
If he is to qualify for the World Matchplay next month or the World Grand Prix in October his form needs to improve.
With Henderson defending prize money from competing at the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix in 2019 on the PDC’s two-year ranking list he could drop further down further from his current ranking of 42nd.
But he’s determined to change his form and added: “The season hasn’t gone to plan for me so far.
“I do put it down to the stop-start nature of it and going a few weeks without competitive action.
“My averages have been good in the 90s and 100 plus and I’ve been losing games with those averages.
“I just need a wee bit of luck and hopefully I’ll manage to get on a run.
“I’m still defending prize money from the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix from two years ago.
“In terms of qualifying for the matchplay it will be difficult.
“But if I could come out and do well in some of these Pro Tours I’d be back in contention.
“I feel I’ve got the game to win one of these Pro Tour events.
“If I could do well then it would certainly boost my confidence.
“There’s not really a lot I can change, it’s just about plugging away and working hard on the practice board and that’s what I’ve been doing.”