STEVE LENNON is out to make a big impression in front of thousands of Irish darts fans when he makes his Unibet Premier League debut at Dublin's 3Arena on Thursday.
Lennon enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2018, reaching the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals and the final of a European Tour event, rising to 37th in the world after just two years on the professional circuit.
The emerging Irish ace will continue his journey on Thursday in front of what is sure to be another electric atmosphere at 3Arena as he becomes the third Premier League Contender to star in this year's competition; a prospect Lennon is relishing.
“I can’t wait to walk out there in front of the Irish fans, I’m determined to make a big impression," said Lennon, who will face Peter Wright in the second game of the evening.
"I want to thank the PDC for the opportunity to play in the Premier League, being selected for the Premier League is a huge deal for me and now I'm excited to get out there and give a good account of myself.
"Chris Dobey's walk-on in Newcastle was absolutely incredible so it would be great to get a reception anything like that.
"Crowds can really lift players and with their support hopefully it will spur me on to play even better and get myself over the line but I know how tough it will be against Peter.
"Thursday could be a huge night for my career and lead to further opportunities so I will be a bit nervous before we go on but once I get up there I will be fine."
Born and raised in Carlow in the south-east of Ireland, Lennon started his PDC career playing on the Unicorn Development Tour from 2011 to 2016, before winning his Tour Card in January 2017.
A strong first year on the ProTour culminated in an Alexandra Palace debut before a breakthrough 2018 saw Lennon come runner-up in the Dutch Darts Masters, before maiden appearances at the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and European Championship.
"I played quite a bit of pool when I was younger and when I was about 14 I started throwing a few darts while waiting to play a pool match and realised I wasn't bad!" Lennon continued.
"I got involved in the local darts scene and it just took off from there really, but when I first started playing on the Development Tour it was just for the enjoyment of playing the game.
"I didn't have much expectations of myself in darts but winning a Development Tour in 2016 was a real turning point for me because it showed me that I was good enough to compete with top players; I started to believe in myself.
"When I went to Q School I never thought I would win a Tour Card, but once again I achieved more than I expected and since then I've ticked off a lot of my targets early.
"Last year was great for me, it was a big thing to qualify for so many TV tournaments and I feel like I'm getting used to playing in those events now.
"I think I can take what I've learned into my match on Thursday. I've always watched the Dublin Premier League event on TV so it will be unreal when I walk out there."
Night Three of the Unibet Premier League in Dublin will be shown live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC's broadcast partners, and through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.
Night Three - Thursday February 21
Gerwyn Price v James Wade
Steve Lennon v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0818 719 300 (Ire) or click here