January 2012

Mark Webster is sponsoring 2012 PDC Youth World Championship finalist James Hubbard, who will be managed by MODUS.

The 19 year old will face Michael van Gerwen in his pursuit of the prestigious title later this year.

Hubbard’s run to the final, coupled with his impressive form on the youth tour, has led to him being given a place on the professional tour for 2012.

He has already appeared at a televised major tournament. He took on Phil Taylor in the 2011 Grand Slam of Darts.

Hubbard is delighted to be under the guidance of Webster and MODUS. He said: “This means everything. For a player like Mark Webster to have such faith in me is fantastic and it’s great to be associated with him. Being sponsored and managed takes a lot of pressure off me and means I can concentrate completely on playing darts.

“To be given the opportunity to do this as a full time job is a dream come true. I had been working with my dad as a painter and decorator but was always itching to get home and practice. To be able to do it everyday and compete as a professional most weekends is an amazing opportunity and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”

MODUS are thrilled to be working with such a talented young player and hope to help him follow in the footsteps of current Under-21 World Champion Arron Monk.

He added: “Being with MODUS will no doubt help me in my preparation for the youth final. They have the right people around to give me advice about playing in front of such a huge crowd and I hope to deliver the goods on the night. Mark has been there and done it and I’ve known Arron Monk since we were about eight years old and our careers have mirrored each other’s, so it would be nice to go up there and follow in his footsteps in that respect too.”

Hubbard will play in the Youth World Championship final on the night of the Premier League final at the O2 Arena in May.

By Chris Murphy

Mark Webster enjoyed a successful 2011 and believes he can do even better this year, despite missing out on a Premier League place.

The Welshman made two quarter-finals, a semi-final and a final in the last twelve months, as well as debuting in the Premier League. He is disappointed not to be taking part in the competition in 2012 but believes he will be back.

He said: “It was great experience for me to be involved in the Premier League last year, which is why I’m so disappointed not to be involved again this year. I’m grateful to have been a part of it though, as I think it’s helped me bring my game to another level. I felt like I deserved another crack at it, but by not getting into the top four in the rankings I was open to being omitted, and that’s what happened.”

Webster won the BDO World Championship in 2008 and came close to his first PDC major when he was runner-up in the Players Championship. The final was just days before his first round defeat in the Ladbrokes World Championship and ‘Spider’ believes his last two matches may have been what cost him his place.

He said: “In terms of consistency in televised tournaments, I have had a better year than some of the players who have been selected. I have been in the latter stages regularly and I feel like it won’t be long before I go that step further and win a major. I don’t begrudge any of those players a place but it all seemed to go wrong in a week for me.

“The space of time between the Players Championship final against Kevin Painter and my World Championship match against Richie Burnett was very short. I’m not making excuses, I was hoping for a much better performance and when it comes down to it I was beaten by two players who have been around for a long time. It’s probably just a lack of big game experience from me, but I won’t worry about it now, it’s done.”

Webster will partner Burnett for Wales in next month’s World Cup of Darts. Spider was the star performer in the inaugural tournament when he and Barrie Bates made the final. The world number eight is hoping for similar success this time around as he bids to start the year as he means to go on.

He added: “We did really well last time, Barrie and I achieved much more than was expected of us. I’m looking forward to playing with Richie and I think we have a really good chance. England will be the obvious favourites with Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, if we get a chance we’ll take it.

As for the rest of the year, I aim to continue to be consistent. Hopefully I will win a major, with the way I can play I’ve got a chance and hopefully this time next year I’ll get back into the Premier League.”

By Chris Murphy