Matthew Edgar currently sits in 82nd place in the PDC Order of Merit and will compete in the UK Open 6th June at The Reebok Stadium Bolton and live on SkySports. Below is an article by Matt  in conjunction with his sponsor OLBG.com on why old stereotypes are out and the face of darts is set to change.

Matt 2011 UK Open - Lawrence Lustig/PDCThe stereotypical darts player isn’t one seen working out at the gym, rather one whose exercise regime comprises walking from his beer to the dart board and back. As the sport gains momentum as an enjoyable and accessible sport for all ages, will we see a new breed of darts player being attracted to the oche?

Northampton’s Matthew Edgar believes that the face of darts is set to change and in the next few years, more than 30% of the top players will be under 30 with a high level of fitness.

Matt, 26, explains that the youth darts teams are getting ready to change the reputation of darts for the better. “A lot of the older players are starting to feel the pressure from younger contenders, and a few are being pushed out all together.”

“People like me are starting to beat the older players regularly. All the points run on a two year rolling system – after this time you lose the points and start again. We are now taking the points away from them meaning their rank slowly goes down as ours goes up. There will be a point where the cross over happens.”

One explanation for this could be that growing interest in the game means more lights, cameras and attendance at the events, putting more mental and physical pressure on the contenders.

“The environments are suited to the younger players as many of us use gyms and look after our health, giving us the edge in the longer games. If you look at the average age in the World Championship it’s coming down every year”.

In order to keep up with the new generation of darts players, will we see changes in the behaviour of some of the current – more mature – stars? At 52, Phil Taylor, one of the original darts giants, famously lost more than five stone for health reasons.

He told The Mirror, “I am a lot fitter and sharper, I can really tell the difference. My concentration levels are up and my alertness has increased. It really gets you raring to go.”

Aside from training hard, Matt has been preparing for his upcoming match in Bolton 6th June by seeking sports psychology coaching from his work partner, ex pro-footballer and current first team manager at Brackley Town, Jon Brady.

“I found I was winning against players in the top 32 but losing to players not even in the top 100. Jon picked up that I didn’t have the same focus and he’s helped me to start enjoying the grind, the games I should be winning.”

Sponsors OLBG.com, The Sports Betting Community, first heard of Matthew Edgar when he became a member on their site under the name matman86 in April 2007. When, in 2011, Matt had to start selling his possessions – including his much-loved Playstation – in order to fund travel and entry to tournaments, OLBG stepped up and offered a sponsorship package that has continued to date.

“It’s great to see Matt on his way up and playing his first game on the main stage in June,” says Stefanie Reeve, spokesperson for OLBG.com. “He puts a lot of his recent success down to his healthy lifestyle which helps improve his focus and energy levels, two elements crucial to beat the pressure of these big tournaments.”

Read Matthew Edgar’s UK Open 2013 Preview for his darts betting tips and watch all the action live on SkySports and SkySports HD 6-9th June 2013.

OLBG.com, the sports betting community, hosts a free-to-enter monthly tipster competition with £5,000 cash prizes, as well as free darts betting tips and the most generous free bet offers on the net. UK Open tipster competition OPEN NOW, visit OLBG today.

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