GLEN DURRANT will fulfil a lifetime ambition when he takes to the Winter Gardens stage for the first time at the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay.
Since winning his PDC Tour Card at the first time of asking in January, the three-time Lakeside champion has already picked up two ranking titles to see him qualify for the Blackpool event a year earlier than he expected.
Durrant will face two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis in a mouth-watering first round tie, and the 48-year-old explained how much it will mean to walk out onto the famous Winter Gardens stage.
"It's always been one of my biggest ambitions to play in Blackpool, it will be another dream come true for me," said Durrant.
"When I first moved over to the PDC my ultimate target was to make it to the Matchplay, it's somewhere I've always thought looks like a special place to play.
"I went there last year as a guest and it was just one of those moments that I thought 'I’ve got to play here one day.'
"The tradition, the building itself, the knowledgeable crowd, the heat, which I love. To qualify this year was momentous for me, it was huge and I’m delighted and so excited."
Durrant sensationally won a Players Championship event in just his second month on the PDC ProTour in February, before doubling his tally in May.
The Middlesbrough man's warm demeanour has seen him become a favourite among fans and players alike, with Durrant now looking to make his mark in televised events.
"I thought it might take a bit more time than it has done to qualify for the Matchplay, but I'm ready now," Durrant continued.
"I've totally exceeded the initial targets I set myself at the start of the year and now my goals are changing but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself at the moment.
"Adrian Lewis is a two-time champion of the world, one of the real legends of the PDC.
"He’s 16th seed, incredibly, meaning I’m in the section with Michael van Gerwen as well, so it’s an incredible draw.
"I’m determined to enjoy myself. Not many people expected me to qualify for the Matchplay this year, so I’m really going to make the most of the experience."
The Betfred World Matchplay will be held from July 20-28 at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
Broadcast live on Sky Sports, the tournament will see 32 players competing across nine days.