Robbie 'Kong' Green
17th March 2007
Bigwigs, Audenshaw @ UK Open NW Regional Finals
DartsMad - Hi Robbie, welcome to the interview, let’s get straight into it with your ‘hot potato’ subject of the drugs conviction and subsequent ban. Let’s not go over old ground discussing the finer details, everything that needed saying has been said about that particular episode. Instead tell me how/if it affected your game and how you have combated any problems.
Robbie Green - It actually had a big affect on me. I got a lot of flack for it and it really disheartened me being the first to be done and all that. There were a lot of personal feelings of disappointment and failure but I had good support from friends and family and I eventually got my head round it. It took time but I’m much happier again now and just want to put it behind me. My kids suffered as well – they got some stick at school and I had a real wake up call from my daughter! ß what was it??! I’ve got something to prove and I intend to do so. The motivation is there.
DM - Do your kids play darts?
RG - Yeah – Chelsea is 14 and Jamie is 16. They both play a bit. I’ve got real motivation to do well for them now after putting them through some tough times at school. I’m also building up my couriering business so they will have something for the future.
DM - Are you still practising with Phil at all? What have you learned from the great man?
RG - No not for a while now. Its quite far to travel and I’ve got my day job so its difficult to fit it all in. It was a valuable experience definitely – for the mental side of the game as much as anything. I’m still in contact with Phil, we still speak to each other and he looks for my results. He’s following my progress and hopefully I can use what I learnt from him to make my career a success. I’ve got a lot of confidence in my own ability.
DM - You very kindly stepped in to help with a local charity event recently after the organiser contacted us asking for help. How did it go? And did you have a good time? Did you get beat?!
RG - It was a great day – well done to Paul Cole and crew for organising it. We raised £3000 for a very worthy charity – Clatterbridge Hospital which treats cancer patients. It’s a cause close to my heart as I lost both my parents to cancer and used to take my mum there for chemotherapy treatment. I jumped at the chance to help out. Cancer is my number one charity and I was more than happy to get involved. On the day we played for over 7 hours – a proper marathon! I got beat off all the kids – we let them win so they could all get medals. There were loads of decent prizes on offer and up for auction so the day was a real success.
DM - Where does the UK Open rank on your list of priorities/favourite tourneys?
RG - Its an important event for me. I’ve already qualified for the final stages this year and hope to build on 2006 where I reached the quarter finals. There is more pressure on me this year but as I’ve mentioned my motivation is much greater so I hope to do well. The nature of the event means that it can be luck of the draw though so I’ll keep my fingers crossed and try my hardest.
DM - I saw you in 2006 and you had quite a following! The venue certainly knew when Robbie Green had won a game…whichever board you were on!
RG - Wait for this year! You ain’t seen nothing yet! It’s gonna be bedlam again.
DM - What’s your overall record like in the UK Open? What do you think your chances are this year?
RG - I’ve played in it twice - had a last 32 and quarter final last year. Given a decent draw I’m confident of doing well again. I’d love to improve on last year.
DM - Ok, here’s some lucky dip questions now. Pick three random questions from this list.
RG - Number 7 – Kenny Dalglish’s number.
DM - Good number – it’s also the number of George Best, Brian Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Very special.
RG - Watch your lip!
DM – Sorry! Dennis Priestley with his Indian summer revival and Terry Jenkins with his late PL qualification must give inspiration to everybody. Who do you draw inspiration from?
RG - I’m not really influenced by anybody to be honest. I’m confident in my own abilities so I don’t really look for inspiration. I hope that doesn’t sound cocky or anything but that’s just the way I am.
DM - That’s fair enough. Next question - In sport, generally over time standards rise. We are seeing 100 averages quite regularly now and I think the overall standard is noticeably on the up. 9-darters are almost expected rather than hoped for. One specific area that comes into focus for me is that period around 200-250 down where you need to set up your out-shot. Do you pay particular attention to this area in terms of practice and mental arithmetic?
RG - Yeah definitely. I totally agree – miscalculating can cost you games. It’s much better to try to leave yourself on a two-darter so you can get two shots at the double. You need to be thinking about setting up your out-shot early. If you don’t think about it and leave yourself a bogey number, or three-darter when it could have been two, it can actually affect your next throw. You can get angry with yourself for not thinking about it and not using your darts better. Also the Unicorn boards these days mean here are less bounce outs so accuracy is greater and you need to maximise every dart you throw.
DM - Do you support a football team? How are they doing?
RG - I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that I’m a big Liverpool fan. I get there when I can and take the kids. They’re doing ok this season but the league has been poor. There’s improvement needed there for sure. I’m not convinced about the big Spanish influence either.
DM - Who’s your favourite player of past and present?
RG - King Kenny was the greatest and of the current squad it has to be between Gerrard and Carragher. Local lads and the heartbeat of our team. I’m also a bit of a Wrexham fan I might add – unfortunately they’re doing rubbish at the moment and might do down!
DM - Last question - Stockport County have just set a league record of 9 straight clean sheet wins. Their keeper is on loan from Wolves and until last weekend had never conceded a goal in senior football..! Ever. I think he should have retired unbeaten! Are there any players you’ve faced who have never beaten you? Or any that you have never beaten? A nemesis if you like!
RG - Haha, him there walking past – Gary Welding. He’s never beaten me in four or five times. I bet if you ask him the same question he’ll say me!
DM - Nice one Robbie. Good luck today and for the rest of the season. We’ll speak to you again at the UK Open and see how you’ve got on.