Kayden Milne has outlined his professional ambitions ahead of his big stage return at the New Zealand Darts Masters in Hamilton next week.
Milne will be one of six Host Nation representatives in action at Hamilton’s GLOBOX Arena on August 4-5, as this year’s World Series of Darts double-header begins in New Zealand.
The 23-year-old played a starring role in last year’s event, recovering from 5-3 down to defeat Fallon Sherrock and move through to the quarter-finals on his televised debut.
“I had fun winning, so it was pretty cool,” quipped Milne, speaking on the Country Sport Breakfast radio show.
“I was a bit nervous playing in front of that many people. I don’t think I’ve ever played in anything close to that.
“My game has definitely has improved from last year, and I should be able to handle it [the atmosphere] a little bit better this time.”
Milne has made solid progress in 2023, celebrating his maiden DartPlayers New Zealand ProTour title in May, having reached the Event Five final a fortnight earlier.
The fresh-faced youngster will also feature in next month’s Winmau World Youth Championship, and he insists the experience of competing against the world’s elite is driving him on.
“It’s pretty exciting!” added Milne, who is still in contention to represent New Zealand at the 2024 World Cup of Darts.
“I had a win in the DPNZ Winmau Pro Tour and that put me into the number three on the rankings, which brought me back to Hamilton this year.
“Watching some of the legends of the game – it inspires me to get better and compete with them, that’s for sure.
“The PDC is where I want to be. The dream is to get there [on the ProTour], but I definitely have a wee way to go yet.”
The NZ Darts Masters will be held at Hamilton’s GLOBOX Arena on August 4-5. Tickets are available now through Ticketek.
World number one Michael Smith and newly crowned World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall will be among the eight PDC stars in action, alongside reigning World Series of Darts Finals winner Gerwyn Price.
Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Danny Noppert and Dimitri Van den Bergh will also feature alongside Australian number one Damon Heta, who completes the list of PDC representatives in the absence of Jonny Clayton, who withdrew due to family reasons.