Pat Orreal ('Choppa') - 23/11/2007

Full name: Pat Orreal
Nickname: 'Choppa'
Interviewed by: Vic

Firstly, fans know you as ‚??Choppa‚??, who initially called you this & why?
Simon Whitlock, because of my long moustache!

Who introduced you to Darts & how long have you been playing?
My cousin Glen introduced me to darts about 23 years ago

And how long have you being playing professionally?
Only about 4 months, this year, I came runner up in the Australian Open, and I also competed in the Parktrent Grand Prix

Not many of us Brits know a lot about you or your darts, but after this weeks performance at the GSOD, we would all like to know a bit more - tell us a bit about you and how darts fits in to your life
Well, I‚??m a normal everyday person that loves darts, if you can make a living out of something that you love, then why not? I played in the Australian Open earlier this year coming runner-up, which is how I came to the Grand Slam of Darts this week, unfortunately Glenn had some problems getting over here, and they offered me the chance, as runner-up to come over here. I was in the military 13 years ago and I‚??ve been a professional fisherman and ‚??roo shooter and I‚??ve also worked in dairy farming for many years. I‚??m a really approachable guy and am happy to meet the darts fans out there and spend time chatting to them, having photo‚??s etc

Can you describe just how you felt when you were told that you were coming over to compete in the GSOD?
I was really surprised, I knew I was next in line to Glenn, but still very surprised!! I wasn‚??t told until 2pm on the Friday, and before you knew it I was on a plane on Sunday morning from Australia!! I didn‚??t really have time to think about things until I was on the plane ‚?? and quite honestly, at one stage I could have quite easily turned around and gone back home ‚?? I‚??m a family man!! But when I arrived here, the people were great and the reception that I was given by the darts fans was fantastic!

What‚??s been your biggest highlight this week at the Grand Slam?
Playing!! ‚?? Just to be up there on that stage is fantastic, and of course, meeting the other professional players in the tournament. It has been really nerve- wracking too, playing up on that stage!!

Just where did you get that shirt? I‚??m pretty sure there are a lot of ‚??Choppa‚?? fans who would like to get one ‚?? will you be sending any over?
Yes ‚?? absolutely!! The shirt was made by a friend of mine, ‚??Skull‚?? for a darts team and there are only 4 in the world (I was the only one who would wear it though!!) I‚??ve decided that I am going to have some special Pat ‚??Choppa‚?? Orreal shirts made, which will be available to my fans over here in the UK ‚?? so watch this space!!

How do you think the game back home in Australia differs from that over here, for example, popularity, television exposure etc?
Its way different over here ‚?? in the UK it‚??s a fan based sport, where as in Australia it is just a sport and there is only local TV coverage for certain tournament, for example the Parktrent event.

I‚??m sure you‚??ve gained many new fans whilst playing over here - if you could give a message to them, what would it be?
Have as much faith in me as I‚??ve got in you and we‚??ll go a long way. Always remember that you can approach me anytime and anywhere and I‚??ll give you my attention.

Is there anyone else in the game who inspires you & why?
Yes ‚?? John Lowe, the first darts that I ever watched was his ‚??9 darter‚??

So, when are British darts fans going to see you over here again?
Well I have decided that I‚??m going to come over to England in the early part of 2008 and set up base here to play the PDC Circuit for a couple of years and see how things go. I‚??ll be doing some exhibitions too and hoping that I can establish myself as one of the top players in the PDC within that time.