Dave Ladley ('Ladders') - 07/12/2006

Full name: Dave Ladley
Nickname: 'Ladders'
Interviewed by: Sal

Congratulations on your qualification for the forthcoming World Championships.
Yes, I was very pleased with my game, I played well. When Keith won the 2 legs I actually had a chance at a double on both, but missed. I just had to forget who I was playing & just play my normal game. I know Robbie, he is very good. Our county team played his, I have known him for 8 yrs but I had the belief that I could play well. He is such a charismatic player & tough to play against when he has got such a large fan following.

How did you feel at this time & what did it truly mean to you?
Pure relief was the real feeling. I have come so close to qualifying over the years but I have the belief that I can play & yes I am good enough to win. This means such a lot, I just wanted to phone everyone & tell them I'd won.

Have you had your mobile phone bill yet?
No, but I've got the money now to pay it!!.

How did others react i.e. Family/Work?
They are all very pleased for me, they have known for years that I'm good enough, but this year I found that extra something. I have just booked my days off from work.

You have the nickname 'Ladders' - why?
From my surname, friends called me this when we played for the county. I used to be called 'davie darts', but Ladders sounds less camp!!.

Who introduced you to Darts & how long have you been playing darts?
My dad, we always played at home

Started
I have played since a lad, but started playing in the league and had my first 10 dart finish at the age of 12.

Have you turned professional yet?
No, not yet - I would love to, but I have a very stressful job with a good salary. You need to be lucky & get a good sponsorship deal. I would love it.

How are you preparing yourself now for Purfleet?
The same as any match, by not practising too much! Last year I practised 4hrs a day & lost in the 1st round. I currently do 3hrs on a Sunday & 1hr on a Thursday. I believe if you have the natural ability, practise isn't important. I brought a new set of darts 2 weeks ago, since then I won in Hull & qualified for World Championships.

How do you feel about your 1st Round draw against Lionel Sams?
It could be worse. It would have been a baptism of fire if drawn against Barney or Taylor. I will probably be expected to lose but who knows on the day.

Walk on music?
I haven't decided yet, possibly Voodoo Child.

Do you get nervous before your match, if so how do you cope with this?
Yes, very! My nerves are brown though!!!! I would worry if I wasn't nervous. Once I get on the board, I keep taking deep breaths, trying to keep my mind on the game. The interesting thing with Darts is that your fans are behind you, unlike if you were doing a concert or playing football. This makes it easier to block it all out.

What has been your biggest highlight so far?
1. 9 dart - which I got in a match 4/5years ago

Do you have any superstitions?
No, not really. However I have to prepare in a certain way, although it sounds silly, - Shower, dress in specific darts trousers & top. I seem to play better if I know I'm clean & smart. Previously I have practised in Jeans and thrown terrible, as soon as I change, it changes my game.

How do you think the game has changed over the years?
It has changed quite a lot. There is a lot more razzmatazz & the game is cleaner now, with the beer drinking years ago, it wasn't a good image for the game.

Fans are important to any sport, if you could give a message to darts fans what would it be?
The support from fans is brilliant. No matter how you are playing, the support from the crowd can lift you and turn your game around.

Is there anyone else in the game who inspires you & why?
Phil Taylor, for what he has done & Eric Bristow MBE, he was the main man in the 80's, how he approached the sport was excellent. Such a charismatic player, he was brilliant to watch.

Favourite TV programme?
Little Britain & Monty Python

Favourite food?
Chicken Jalfrezi

Favourite drink?
Lager

Which place would you most like to visit or have you already?
I would love to go to Las Vegas for the Desert Classic - watch this space, maybe next year.

What makes you angry
Nothing

What makes you laugh
Anything - I have a very dry sense of humour. Someone falling over or even walking into a lamppost whether they hurt themselves or not!!

Quick fire Blackpool / Dublin?
Blackpool

Chelsea / Man Utd?
Man Utd

Beer / Wine?
Beer

Cash / Credit Card?
Cash

Last text received?
See you on Friday - from my wife (received Monday - due to shifts!)

Last text sent?
Can't remember. I don't send many!!