Lukeman vows to inflict damage on World Matchplay debut: "I'm going to surprise a few people"

Martin Lukeman is one of four debutants at this year's World Matchplay and will face James Wade this evening in the quarter of death which also includes Michael van Gerwen, Joe Cullen and Luke Humphries.

But for 'Smash' who has reached a European Tour final this season and has gone from strength to strength in a stunning six month spell, it is the realisation of a long dream.

“I always thought I had the talent, but I just couldn’t get going,” said Lukeman, who quit his construction job in December to become a full-time professional.

“I was in and out of the Challenge Tour, but during lockdown I did so much practice because I wasn’t working, and it worked for me.

“I was probably playing two competitions a night online, every day throughout that whole year of lockdown, and then I went to Qualifying School and grabbed my Tour Card!”

“The European Tour has done wonders for me this year, it’s got me right up the rankings and it has probably helped me keep my Tour Card."

“I don’t want to be waking up at 5am in the morning and going to cold building sites, I want to do this, and I’m going to work hard at it.”

“I’ve qualified for nine out of 11 European Tour events now, that’s not too bad! I’ve got two more left, and that would be a good year’s work!”

Onto Blackpool and for Lukeman, he is looking forward to inflicting some damage and wants to be a player to be feared.

“I’m playing well. I’m looking forward to the World Matchplay, we’ll have some of it,” he quipped.

“People don’t want to play me. I can see hands shaking in these venues now when opponents play me.

“I’m not there to make the numbers up. People know I’m a danger man now. I’m going to surprise a few people.”

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