O'Connor on drawing Australia first round at World Cup of Darts: "I'd sooner not be seeded when you get a draw like that"

William O'Connor enjoyed great success last year alongside Steve Lennon for Republic of Ireland at the World Cup of Darts reaching the final.

But this year due to their stature rising as individual players, they will be seeded and have Australian pairing Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta as their first task.

'The Magpie' admitted that he'd rather not be seeded in that case but there are some tougher draws throughout the first round anyway.

"First round this year we're playing Australia - I'd sooner not be seeded when you get a draw like that," said O'Connor to Sky Sports.

"When the draw came out I l just looked and I started laughing for a minute. I thought 'yeah, that's what happens when you become a seed'. What can you do? There are a lot of easier draws there, but I suppose there are tougher draws as well."

He recounted last year's brilliance and like his run at the recent European Championship, it was seen as a free roll for O'Connor.

"There's lots of good memories from last year, absolutely. We didn't go into last year's tournament expecting to do particularly fantastic," he added.

"If you look at the draw we had, it was probably one of the worst draws you can get, so we went in with the intentions of playing well and whatever happens, happens."

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen players react to it in different ways but for O'Connor, it was a 'struggle' and with no light at the end of the tunnel before the restart, he admitted it was hard to keep motivated.

"Basically [it's been] one big struggle for me. I found it very hard early on at the start of the year trying to keep motivated to practice and actually keep my game up there, but I didn't," he admitted.

"I couldn't keep myself motivated and when you don't know when you're going to be playing again, it's very hard to focus.

"Then when the darts started coming back, I was putting in the time again, but obviously there was a lot of rust and a lot of cobwebs there, so I'm just trying to get back some sort of form, some sort of consistency more than anything else."

But now a top 32 debut is on the cards and O'Connor is searching for that extra consistency now going into a busy period of the year.

"Everything is on schedule for me as far as I'm concerned. I'm practising hard again now and in fairness I am slowly getting there. It's just little things that I needed to make more consistent.

"It's not a case of I need to work harder, I just need to do little things right and if I can do that, I can play my best. If I can play my best, regardless of the result I'm very very happy.

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